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Old 11th July 2017, 07:37 AM   #41
Argumemnon
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Surely not "by definition"?
Oh, absolutely. Rights presuppose an understanding that no animal outside of humans has.

Quote:
You did mention bears.
Please learn the difference between a rule and a case.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
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"?
Semantics? Those are completely different concepts! Animals have no rights because they cannot make use of them, just like they can't have privileges. But as you say, they can have protections. This isn't a small distinction.
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Old 11th July 2017, 08:20 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Semantics? Those are completely different concepts! Animals have no rights because they cannot make use of them, just like they can't have privileges. But as you say, they can have protections. This isn't a small distinction.

No. They have "rights" in law. And that is ... the law!

It does not matter whether you think/say that animals "cannot make use of the rights" that the law affords to them. Young children also have legal "rights" which they personally cannot enforce or "make use of" ... an adult has to enforce or "make use of" those rights for them in any appeal to the law ...

... in many cases an adult is in no position to enforce their legal rights either. And again some other adult or organisation has to enforce the rights in the courts.
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Old 11th July 2017, 08:28 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
No. They have "rights" in law. And that is ... the law!
A couple of posts ago you asked the question whether "rights" was the right word, so why now go back to insisting that it is?

No, animals don't have "rights" even if we often call them that for political purposes. Children have a far better understanding of rights, even at three or four years of age, than any animal.
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Old 11th July 2017, 10:27 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Oh, absolutely. Rights presuppose an understanding that no animal outside of humans has. ...
This sounds a bit like new born babies, and people with severe dementia who have reverted to a level of knowledge and understanding to a level comparable to babies, and perhaps even people in a permanent coma, have no rights.

So please: I asked you on the previous page, I'll ask again: Can you please cite a proper source that supports your definition of "right"?

It is my understanding that a right is an entitlement that can be sued for in a court of law based on law.
So what a right is does not depend immediately on what the bearer of the right is, or is able to, but strictly to what the law says.
Civil law in Germany, derived from Napoléonic Code Civil, states that a natural person begins to be able to have rights at birth, and ceases to have rights upon death. This is a somewhat arbitrary definition, and it applies to civil law only, although other branches of law may borrow it. It does not stop any other law from extending rights to entities other than natural persons (i.e. humans). Corporations can have rights, even though corporations are not sentient beings. Corporations are owned and run by sentient beings (one hopes!), but they are not sentient themselves. What if a corporation is owned fully by another corporation and run, day-to-day, by computers alone? can it have rights? Yes it can!

So again, nothing stops any law from giving any rights to entities which are not sentient beings. These would require sentient beings (humans, but in the future perhaps automatic state attorneys?) to represent them to bring a case to court, but the same is true for babies and people with severe mental disabilities.
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Old 11th July 2017, 10:34 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
A couple of posts ago you asked the question whether "rights" was the right word, so why now go back to insisting that it is?

That was a response to the specific issue of plants (any “rights” for plants?) that was raised somewhat tongue-in-cheek (I think?) by Oystein (post #35). And in that case (plants) the word “rights” may not be the best choice for the reasons I explained there. But in this thread the OP specifically asked about animal rights … and what I am talking about is “animal rights”, and what “rights” are afforded to animals under the law.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
No, animals don't have "rights" even if we often call them that for political purposes. Children have a far better understanding of rights, even at three or four years of age, than any animal.

No you are simply wrong, because that is a matter of law. The animal is granted certain rights under the law. And as I just explained, that is not affected by the fact that the animal itself cannot go to the courts and have the force of the law visited upon anyone who breaches those rights against the welfare of the animal.

And as I also just explained - young children (how young do you want to get? ... a 3 month old baby perhaps?) are rarely in a position themselves to make an appeal to the legal authorities ... the appeal has to be made by some mature adult/adults.

Adults also only have whatever "rights" are granted to them by law. The so-called "rights" are not inherent (they do not come from a God). It's the same situation for animals.
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Old 11th July 2017, 10:38 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This sounds a bit like new born babies, and people with severe dementia who have reverted to a level of knowledge and understanding to a level comparable to babies, and perhaps even people in a permanent coma, have no rights.
No, it really doesn't. The obvious difference is that you're citing special cases while the rights we're talking about apply to all humans. On the flip side, _no_ animals besides humans meets the requirements. But you knew that.

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So please: I asked you on the previous page, I'll ask again: Can you please cite a proper source that supports your definition of "right"?
Well, Merriam-Webster defines it as "something that a person is or should be morally or legally allowed to have, get, or do". They specify "person". Dictionary.com's list for the noun all presuppose the ability to think or own stuff, etc. I don't know why people keep asking for cites for definitions when it's trivially easy to look up. It's not like this is a paywall-protected, leading-edge-of-science article.

The point is that the idea of rights assumes one's ability to understand these rights and use them, in addition to suing for redress should they be breached, at least in the general case. Humans are the only ones able to even understand the concept of rights. How animals could be given rights baffles me. They sure can be given protections that are exactly the same as they are now, but those are not rights.

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It is my understanding that a right is an entitlement that can be sued for in a court of law based on law.
For some reason this conjures up an image of a bulldog in a suit and tie carrying a briefcase to a courtroom.

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So again, nothing stops any law from giving any rights to entities which are not sentient beings.
So lawn chairs could have rights? Don't be ridiculous.
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Old 11th July 2017, 10:38 AM   #47
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When animals start creating their own laws then they will have rights
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Old 11th July 2017, 10:41 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
That was a response to the specific issue of plants (any “rights” for plants?) that was raised somewhat tongue-in-cheek (I think?) by Oystein (post #35). And in that case (plants) the word “rights” may not be the best choice for the reasons I explained there. But in this thread the OP specifically asked about animal rights … and what I am talking about is “animal rights”, and what “rights” are afforded to animals under the law.
But even tongue-in-cheek it does raise the issue of whether we can apply rights to everything. Chairs, tapeworms, ants, dogs, giraffes... how does one determine when it's a right and when it's just a legal protection?

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No you are simply wrong, because that is a matter of law. The animal is granted certain rights under the law.
You're essentially stamping your foot on the ground and insisting that you're right because reasons. Simply saying that it's a matter of law doesn't make it magically true. If a law said that dogs can have PhDs, it doesn't mean they can actually earn one.
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:34 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
But even tongue-in-cheek it does raise the issue of whether we can apply rights to everything. Chairs, tapeworms, ants, dogs, giraffes... how does one determine when it's a right and when it's just a legal protection?



You're essentially stamping your foot on the ground and insisting that you're right because reasons. Simply saying that it's a matter of law doesn't make it magically true. If a law said that dogs can have PhDs, it doesn't mean they can actually earn one.

The above just shows that you have no case.

The plain fact of the matter is that so-called " rights" are only provided in law. Unless those rights are granted in law, then there are no such "rights" for anyone. Humans have certain rights that are specified in law, and so do animals. Humans do not have inerrant special “rights” simply by virtue of being human … there are no such “rights” inherently granted by a heavenly God … the only reason that any humans have any “rights” at all, is purely because we make laws to grant such rights through the law courts.

Is it right for humans to make laws that grant certain rights to certain groups of animals? Well that's a matter of opinion. But in civilised educated democracies such as the UK (and afaik, all of the rest of the EU countries), that opinion has been to grant those legal "rights" to various groups of animals.

Those legal rights are granted in law in exactly the same way, and for exactly the same reason that the rights are granted to humans. That's just a decision which has been made and enforced in law.
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Old 12th July 2017, 02:11 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
The plain fact of the matter is that so-called " rights" are only provided in law.
Of course they are. Just like any concept is a human creation. But despite that fact, you can't use concepts to deny reality, and words have meaning. You can write in the constitution that solar panels have rights, but it doesn't make it so.
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Old 12th July 2017, 02:28 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Of course they are. Just like any concept is a human creation. But despite that fact, you can't use concepts to deny reality, and words have meaning. You can write in the constitution that solar panels have rights, but it doesn't make it so.

You are talking as if you believe that humans somehow have special inherent rights as if from a God.

Are you under the impression that humans somehow have inherent "rights" simply as a result of being homo sapiens?

Where do you think that any such “rights” come from?
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Old 12th July 2017, 03:37 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You are talking as if you believe that humans somehow have special inherent rights as if from a God.
Ok, after I said that rights, like all concepts, are human creations, you reply this? It's clear that you don't actually read my posts. You just knee-jerk disagree without giving any thought to the discussion.

How about you address what I actually said? Can solar panels have rights?
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Old 12th July 2017, 04:03 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Ok, after I said that rights, like all concepts, are human creations, you reply this? It's clear that you don't actually read my posts. You just knee-jerk disagree without giving any thought to the discussion.

How about you address what I actually said? Can solar panels have rights?

We are not talking about solar panels! The OP question and the title of this thread specifically asks about "rights" for "animals". So “How about you address stick to what I actually said the actual subject”!

Animals are not inanimate lifeless objects!

Are you under the impression that an animal is like a solar panel? What do you think the difference is between a living animal and a solar panel??

Where do you think any human “rights” ever came from?

Where do you think any animal “rights” ever came from?

Do animal "rights" and human "rights" come from exactly the same source and for essentially the same reasons? Yes or no?
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Old 12th July 2017, 04:22 AM   #54
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Wow, that is a lot of anger for a simple question designed to probe the limits of your principles. I guess you'd rather not do that.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
We are not talking about solar panels! The OP question and the title of this thread specifically asks about "rights" for "animals". So “How about you address stick to what I actually said the actual subject”!
The question is essential. If you think rights are a simple matter of law and that the definition doesn't matter, then conceivably we could give rights to inanimate objects as well. So please answer the question: could we give rights to inanimate objects and, if not, why do you limit them to living things?

Quote:
Are you under the impression that an animal is like a solar panel?
The only difference is chemistry. Are you under the impression that animals somehow have inherent "rights" simply as a result of being alive? You are talking as if you believe that animals somehow have special inherent rights as if from a God.

Quote:
Do animal "rights" and human "rights" come from exactly the same source and for essentially the same reasons? Yes or no?
Well, since I don't think animals have rights, the answer is meaningless.
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Old 12th July 2017, 05:38 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Republicans could give cows the right to vote to help them in some close elections...
and republickers certainly would in a heartbeat if they had a way to legalize it!!!!!
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Old 12th July 2017, 05:43 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Ok, after I said that rights, like all concepts, are human creations, you reply this? It's clear that you don't actually read my posts. You just knee-jerk disagree without giving any thought to the discussion.

How about you address what I actually said? Can solar panels have rights?
Not unless a large enough group of idiots manage to bring it to a vote and more idiots manage to pass it into law. And even then the solar panels would have no real say or vote in any future elections as their lack of any ability to communicate would legally prevent such.
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Old 12th July 2017, 05:45 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Not unless a large enough group of idiots manage to bring it to a vote and more idiots manage to pass it into law. And even then the solar panels would have no real say or vote in any future elections as their lack of any ability to communicate would legally prevent such.
That's precisely my point.
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Old 12th July 2017, 05:45 AM   #58
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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).
But, in most such situations, the bear will be killed for the protection of other people!!!
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Old 12th July 2017, 06:22 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Wow, that is a lot of anger for a simple question designed to probe the limits of your principles. I guess you'd rather not do that.



The question is essential. If you think rights are a simple matter of law and that the definition doesn't matter, then conceivably we could give rights to inanimate objects as well. So please answer the question: could we give rights to inanimate objects and, if not, why do you limit them to living things?



The only difference is chemistry. Are you under the impression that animals somehow have inherent "rights" simply as a result of being alive? You are talking as if you believe that animals somehow have special inherent rights as if from a God.



Well, since I don't think animals have rights, the answer is meaningless.

Sorry but the subject here is not solar panels. Animals are not solar panels. And the question here is whether animals can have "rights" of protection from cruelty etc. under the law. And the unarguable answer is not only that they "can" indeed have such rights, but that they most certainly already do have those "rights".

That's just a matter of fact – when you say “animals cannot have rights”, you are simply 100% wrong because they actually do have “rights” that are agreed in law. So they most certainly do have rights.

What you seem to be actually saying, is that you do not think animals should have those rights in law, &/or that they should not be called “rights”. But you have no case there at all. Because the courts already do provide those rights for animals (so that's not even debatable), and in common parlance those legal provisions are universally given the term “rights” (so that's not debatable either, and it would only be a worthless semantic argument about which word to use anyway).

So you have no case at all here.

Having said all of that - you seem to labouring under the misapprehension that humans have some other special source of rights apart from those which are granted under the the law. I do not think humans do have any such other source of "rights" that are inherently specific just to humans.

However, if in fact you do not believe that humans have any other such source of inherent rights (which would really be a religious belief/argument anyway), and you accept that the only such protective rights are those which we enjoy through the making of law, then that is the end of the debate because that is exactly just the same sort of “rights” that various animals have too.


I have asked you several times now, without any credible answer from you -

Q:- are you claiming that humans have some other source of "rights" purely as result of being human?

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Old 12th July 2017, 06:29 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Sorry but the subject here is not solar panels. Animals are not solar panels.
You're missing the point. Animals are also not humans, but you are saying that the principle of the law is what makes it possible to give animals "rights", so I'm seeking to know why you'd cut off at inanimate objects. What is it about animals that makes them worthy of rights but not tables?

Quote:
And the question here is whether animals can have "rights" of protection from cruelty etc. under the law. And the unarguable answer is not only that they "can" indeed have such rights, but that they most certainly already do have those "rights".
Then a law making tables protected would surely be a "rights" of tables by definition. It'd be absurd, of course, just like animal "rights" are.

Quote:
That's just a matter of fact – when you say “animals cannot have rights”, you are simply 100% wrong because they actually do have “rights” that are agreed in law. So they most certainly do have rights.
That is a circular argument.

Quote:
Having said all of that - you seem to labouring under the misapprehension that humans have some other special source of rights apart from those which are granted under the the law.
For ****'s sake, Ian. You're ascribing to me a claim that is 100% the opposite of the one I made. At least make a modicrum of effort to accurately represent my argument.

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I do not think humans do have any such other source of "rights" that are inherently specific just to humans.
It's not about a "source" of anything. It's about how rights are defined. Take my exampe about a dog getting a PhD. A dog can't get a PhD. Sure, you can give the dog a PhD but it's absurd: the dog has no ability to earn ot use it. He'd probably just eat it.

Quote:
However, if in fact you do not believe that humans have any other such source of inherent rights (which would really be a religious belief/argument anyway), and you accept that the only such protective rights are those which we enjoy through the making of law, then that is the end of the debate because that is exactly just the same sort of “rights” that various animals have too.
That sort of logic would apply to tables and other inanimate objects as well, but you'd rather not examine the logical conclusion of your own argument.

Quote:
I have asked you several times now, without any credible answer from you -

Q:- are you claiming that humans have some other source of "rights" purely as result of being human?
I've answered that question three times already, so it's clear that you don't read my posts.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:13 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Oh, absolutely. Rights presuppose an understanding that no animal outside of humans has.

Is that the legal position on "rights"? Would you know if that applies more or less universally, or just to the US?

If it isn't (in fact, even if it is -- the legal position, I mean), your reasoning seems counter-intuitive. We do speak of the rights of infants, for example. (Others have raised the same objection, I see. You don't seem to have addressed it satisfactorily, yet : why, if rights presuppose a certain minimum level of understanding, we extend such to infants.)

Also, that rights presuppose a certain level of understanding : is that just your opinion, or is that also a legal definition/position?


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Please learn the difference between a rule and a case.

I don't understand what you meant there. Neither in general, nor in the context of this discussion.

Incidentally, I do understand your position now, in respect of the question I'd asked you. Which is : you don't believe animals can have rights at all, no animals, not just bears. Your position on that is obvious now, basis your comments here made subsequent to our earlier exchange.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:17 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Depends on the disability. Certain forms of mental disability certainly figure into the way guilt and sentence are measured.

Mental disabilities. Sure.

I'd somehow had this picture pop into my head of a paralytic sitting at his wheelchair or lying on his bed, plotting the perfect crime, all the more perfect in that he gets let off lightly even if he's caught.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:17 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Is that the legal position on "rights"? Would you know if that applies more or less universally, or just to the US?
I'm talking about the general principle, not specifically about America.

Quote:
If it isn't (in fact, even if it is -- the legal position, I mean), your reasoning seems counter-intuitive. We do speak of the rights of infants, for example. (Others have raised the same objection, I see. You don't seem to have addressed it satisfactorily, yet : why, if rights presuppose a certain minimum level of understanding, we extend such to infants.)
Well I've addressed it, at least: most humans are capable of said understanding. No animal is. But I'm open to the idea that humans with absent or insufficient cognitive abilities shouldn't have rights but protections.

Quote:
Also, that rights presuppose a certain level of understanding : is that just your opinion, or is that also a legal definition/position?
Well that circles back to my question about where do we draw the line: Inanimate objects? Plants? Insects? Mammals? And why?

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I don't understand what you meant there. Neither in general, nor in the context of this discussion.
See above.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:31 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
(...)
Well that circles back to my question about where do we draw the line: Inanimate objects? Plants? Insects? Mammals? And why?
(...)

If this is just a common-sense position, not a legal provision, then there seems no difficulty in granting rights to animals (if we want to, that is -- not otherwise). The fact animals have rights, and humans also have rights, does not mean, surely, that those rights are exactly the same. Animals can have different rights, lesser rights, than humans.

As for living beings lower down the line from mammals : I don't know, I guess it is a question of sentience, being able to feel pain, being able to register fear, all that. Probably wouldn't apply to creatures that don't have a nervous system.

If you have laws about the environment, for instance, those are most certainly not "rights", not unless you subscribe to some pantheistic belief system. But I'd imagine your dog would have certain rights, against needless cruelty for example. Probably bears as well.

Just to clarify, these "rights" of animals aren't absolute. We're the top dogs, and we (humans) make the laws, so this is wholly subject to our collective values and opinions. Not just legally, ethically as well (since it's our values, and our ethics). So we may possibly extend greater rights to dogs than to bears, for example, if that's how public (or at least, legal) opinion happens to go.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:37 AM   #65
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I have to go with Argumemnon on this one: there is no objective reason why animals should be granted rights but inanimate objects not.
What about a cockroach compared to a van Gogh painting? Don't we have a moral obligation to preserve the latter more than the former, even if only of of them, as far as we know, feels pain?

These are not ideal questions, especially if we get into issues of cybernetics and computer-human hybrids: should a person who is only 35% organic have the same rights as non-modified humans?
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:38 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
If this is just a common-sense position, not a legal provision, then there seems no difficulty in granting rights to animals (if we want to, that is -- not otherwise). The fact animals have rights, and humans also have rights, does not mean, surely, that those rights are exactly the same. Animals can have different rights, lesser rights, than humans.
I'm not arguing from common sense, as I find such arguments pointless and often factually wrong. I'm arguing from what rights _are_. Rights are concepts and you can't very well grant them to something that can't possibly understand them. For example, it's impossible to apply the concept of good and evil to animals. It's a human construct and requires human cognition.

Quote:
As for living beings lower down the line from mammals : I don't know, I guess it is a question of sentience, being able to feel pain, being able to register fear, all that. Probably wouldn't apply to creatures that don't have a nervous system.
How about humans in a vegetative state or who can't feel pain? The point is, any definition will be arbitrary, but some are more justifiable than others.

Quote:
If you have laws about the environment, for instance, those are most certainly not "rights", not unless you subscribe to some pantheistic belief system. But I'd imagine your dog would have certain rights, against needless cruelty for example. Probably bears as well.
I would call those protections for humane purposes. In my understanding (which is, of course, the best understanding there is!) rights imply understanding and responsibility, something non-humans cannot have. I'd say the use of the word "rights" for animals is colloquial.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:42 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I have to go with Argumemnon on this one: there is no objective reason why animals should be granted rights but inanimate objects not.
What about a cockroach compared to a van Gogh painting? Don't we have a moral obligation to preserve the latter more than the former, even if only of of them, as far as we know, feels pain?

These are not ideal questions, especially if we get into issues of cybernetics and computer-human hybrids: should a person who is only 35% organic have the same rights as non-modified humans?
See, this is very interesting, as well. I think it's crucial to examine where we draw the line and why, if we're to A) understand why we have a position on a topic at all and B) determine whether that position makes sense. But some posters here would rather just say that that's the way it is and don't question it because reasons, which is more than a little unfortunate given the forum we're on.
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Old 12th July 2017, 08:10 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I'm not arguing from common sense, as I find such arguments pointless and often factually wrong. I'm arguing from what rights _are_. Rights are concepts and you can't very well grant them to something that can't possibly understand them. For example, it's impossible to apply the concept of good and evil to animals. It's a human construct and requires human cognition.
(...)

What then, if not common sense? You say yourself this isn't about how the law stands at this time.

Anyway, that quibble aside : this takes us to what it means to "understand". Back to that whole sentience-nervous-system line of thought. If you kick a dog, I think it can "understand" that (depending on how you define "understanding"), and hate it as well. Probably no less than you yourself would understand it and hate it, or I. So that particular right, of not being kicked, might generally apply to dogs, mightn't they, even if not the "higher" rights that we humans can understand, and not the dogs?


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
(...)
How about humans in a vegetative state or who can't feel pain?
(...)

Absolutely. That would be exactly analogous to infants. Which is exactly my argument.

If infants, if the terminally vegetative, then why not animals as well?

(Except if we say we can't be bothered worrying about animals. That makes sense, if we say that, even if it doesn't seem very humane.)


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
(...)
I would call those protections for humane purposes. In my understanding (which is, of course, the best understanding there is!) rights imply understanding and responsibility, something non-humans cannot have. I'd say the use of the word "rights" for animals is colloquial.

Which circles back to the meaning of "understanding". Of course, the dog's understanding of being kicked hard also is "understanding" only in the colloquial sense I suppose. Perhaps "feeling" may be a more precise word. But then there's no reason why rights should link only to "understanding", is there, and not "feeling" or whatever?



I myself think -- not that I've thought of this at all beyond this thread -- the difference between rights and protections is that rights apply to some entity for itself. We wouldn't worry about the killing of some endangered species if that species were not endangered, but we'd care about dogs (and infants, and the vegetative-comatose) being kicked irrespective of anything else.
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Old 12th July 2017, 08:15 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I have to go with Argumemnon on this one: there is no objective reason why animals should be granted rights but inanimate objects not.
What about a cockroach compared to a van Gogh painting? Don't we have a moral obligation to preserve the latter more than the former, even if only of of them, as far as we know, feels pain?

These are not ideal questions, especially if we get into issues of cybernetics and computer-human hybrids: should a person who is only 35% organic have the same rights as non-modified humans?

Sentience? Nervous system? Ability to think? At least, the ability to feel?

The van Gogh painting has no "value" except what we ascribe to it. A human adult, a child, an infant, a dog, these can probably be thought of to have "value" in and of themselves.

I'd say a cyborg, even a 100% artificial robot, that were capable of feeling and "understanding" would "deserve" rights.

Of course, all of this "deserving" isn't absolute. They deserve rights, whoever "they" might be (animals, or cyborgs, or infants, or women, or people of a particular skin tone) only if "we" give believe they deserve them ("we" being the top dogs, the ones making the laws).
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Old 12th July 2017, 08:22 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
What then, if not common sense?
It's right there in the portion you quoted.

Quote:
Anyway, that quibble aside : this takes us to what it means to "understand".
That one's pretty simple, isn't it?

Quote:
If you kick a dog, I think it can "understand" that (depending on how you define "understanding"), and hate it as well. Probably no less than you yourself would understand it and hate it, or I. So that particular right, of not being kicked, might generally apply to dogs, mightn't they, even if not the "higher" rights that we humans can understand, and not the dogs?
I'm sorry but in arguing for an application of the definition of "rights" I didn't think we'd get into an abuse of language as ridiculous as what you just did. No, the dog doesn't "understand" that any more than you "understand" being punched in the face. You "feel" it. Come on, now.

And you are, presumably deliberately, trying to switch out "understanding the right not to be harmed" with "feeling the harm itself". How does that fit into our discussion in any way?

Quote:
Absolutely. That would be exactly analogous to infants. Which is exactly my argument.

If infants, if the terminally vegetative, then why not animals as well?
Again, I've given two answers to this already. Did you not read the posts I made in response to yours?

Quote:
Which circles back to the meaning of "understanding". Of course, the dog's understanding of being kicked hard also is "understanding" only in the colloquial sense I suppose. Perhaps "feeling" may be a more precise word. But then there's no reason why rights should link only to "understanding", is there, and not "feeling" or whatever?
There's also no reason why "table" wouldn't include motor vehicles if we only defined it that way.
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Old 12th July 2017, 08:23 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
The van Gogh painting has no "value" except what we ascribe to it. A human adult, a child, an infant, a dog, these can probably be thought of to have "value" in and of themselves.
Nothing has value in and of itself.
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Old 12th July 2017, 08:40 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
It's right there in the portion you quoted.



That one's pretty simple, isn't it?



I'm sorry but in arguing for an application of the definition of "rights" I didn't think we'd get into an abuse of language as ridiculous as what you just did. No, the dog doesn't "understand" that any more than you "understand" being punched in the face. You "feel" it. Come on, now.

And you are, presumably deliberately, trying to switch out "understanding the right not to be harmed" with "feeling the harm itself". How does that fit into our discussion in any way?



Again, I've given two answers to this already. Did you not read the posts I made in response to yours?



There's also no reason why "table" wouldn't include motor vehicles if we only defined it that way.
Edited by zooterkin:  <SNIP> Edited for rule 12


This business of chopping up comments and addressing individual bits does have its uses, but it sometimes gets you to miss the wood for the trees. Surely the sense of what I'm saying is clear enough?

OK, let me see if I understand you :

YOu object to "animal rights" because you feel there can be no rights without an understanding of rights. Without that all-important understanding, you can have protection, but not rights. That's your position, right?

(1) How, would you say, does a "protection", in effect, in observance, differ from a "right"?

(2) Why do you insist that rights must hinge on an "understanding" of such rights? Basis what? Not the law as it stands now, that you've made clear. What, then? Some definition of "rights" that specifies that? Which one? (Elaborate, please, so I can understand.)

(3) You haven't addressed (at least, not without contradicting yourself) the question of why it's okay for infants and the vegatative-comatose to have rights, but not dogs for instance. Have another go?


... Have to run now. Catch you later.

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Old 12th July 2017, 08:56 AM   #73
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A right that is only bestowed but not accepted is a fickle thing indeed.

Our progress of human rights is mostly due to the fact that, once a right was given, people fought hard to keep it. This had a "ratcheting-up" effect where rights once gained are rarely lost.

So every right we give to an animal with the stroke of a pen can just be taken away with the stroke of a pen - the creature will not know either way.
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Old 12th July 2017, 10:06 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're missing the point. Animals are also not humans, but you are saying that the principle of the law is what makes it possible to give animals "rights", so I'm seeking to know why you'd cut off at inanimate objects. What is it about animals that makes them worthy of rights but not tables?

No. I am saying that the principle of the law is what makes it possible to gives certain rights to animals "rights". That's the fact of the matter from those who make the laws - they have decided that animals should be afforded certain protective rights.

The point is that you have repeatedly claimed that animals "cannot have rights". But you are 100% wrong about that, because they actually do have those rights by law.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
... so I'm seeking to know why you'd cut off at inanimate objects. What is it about animals that makes them worthy of rights but not tables?

It's not me who is either seeking to make such laws or to "cut them off at inanimate objects". Afaik there are no such laws for inanimate objects. But inanimate objects are not remotely comparable with conscious sentient living animals such as those that are afforded rights of protection under the law ...

... you are trying to make an analogy between inanimate objects and living higher mammals such as pet cats and dogs. And that analogy is entirely misplaced and erroneous - solar panels are not comparable to living animals.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Then a law making tables protected would surely be a "rights" of tables by definition. It'd be absurd, of course, just like animal "rights" are.

You are again making an entirely false and 100% erroneous comparison claiming that a table is the same as a living animal. Well it's not!

You should know very well the reason why we pass laws giving rights of protection to various living animals, including human animals (humans are “animals" too!). You must know very well that it is done in the case of sentient conscious higher animals to have redress against unnecessary cruelty etc.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
For ****'s sake, Ian. You're ascribing to me a claim that is 100% the opposite of the one I made. At least make a modicrum of effort to accurately represent my argument.

Well if you know that the only source of any such “rights” for humans, is process of law in the legal courts, then you must know very well that the exact same legal process in the exact same courts provides the exact same type of “rights” for certain animals (such as pet cats and dogs).


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post

It's not about a "source" of anything. It's about how rights are defined. Take my exampe about a dog getting a PhD. A dog can't get a PhD. Sure, you can give the dog a PhD but it's absurd: the dog has no ability to earn ot use it. He'd probably just eat it.

It most certainly IS about the source of any such rights! The only source of any such rights is the process of law-making in the courts. The legal system is the source of all such rights in both the case of humans and in the case of animals. That is the only source … there is no higher or other source.

And nobody is talking about giving dogs a PhD. You are just continuously making completely erroneous analogies.

But in issues of cruelty and neglect, human rights most definitely are analogous to animal rights, because the law says so!


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post

That sort of logic would apply to tables and other inanimate objects as well, but you'd rather not examine the logical conclusion of your own argument.

No. Completely wrong (yet again). What I said was “if you accept that the only such protective human rights are those which we enjoy through the making of law, then that is the end of the debate, because that is exactly just the same sort of “rights” that various animals have too.” And that law of rights does not mention any tables (nor any solar panels!). It's a set of laws that specifically apply to humans and to certain animals (and also afaik, to certain birds and other living conscious things).


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I've answered that question three times already, so it's clear that you don't read my posts.

Well what was your answer? Here is the question again -

Q:- are you claiming that humans have some other source of "rights" purely as result of being human?


If you agree that the only source of rights that humans have is that which is defined in law by the legal system, then you must also accept that animals in fact DO have “rights”, because they too are afforded the same sort of rights by that same legal system …

… and as I have pointed out to you several times, that above fact (and it is a fact) shows that you have been completely wrong when you keep saying “animals cannot have rights”, because that one and only source of any such rights does give animals those “rights”. So they absolutely do have those rights, despite you repeatedly saying they cannot have them!


Look, that is really the bottom line here - you have been saying that "animals cannot have rights". But you are most definitely wrong to say that, because you cannot deny that they actually do have those "rights" ... and the law makes that very clear (it's not arguable).

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Old 12th July 2017, 10:22 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
No. I am saying that the principle of the law is what makes it possible to gives certain rights to animals "rights". That's the fact of the matter from those who make the laws - they have decided that animals should be afforded certain protective rights.

The point is that you have repeatedly claimed that animals "cannot have rights". But you are 100% wrong about that, because they actually do have those rights by law.
Yes, that's exactly what I expect from you: you have your conclusion and you are making sure that discussing it is impossible. Animals have rights because the law says so even though it makes little sense and if we try to probe the limits of that principle we can't because we're discussing animals and not anything else. You are purposely making the debate verbotten because you don't want to evaluate the possibility that you might be wrong.

Quote:
Afaik there are no such laws for inanimate objects.
Irrelevant. If there were, would that mean that objects can have rights? Yes or no?

Quote:
... you are trying to make an analogy between inanimate objects and living higher mammals such as pet cats and dogs.
Oh? Higher mammals, now? How about ants? Don't they get rights?

Quote:
It most certainly IS about the source of any such rights!
Don't tell me what my own argument is, sir.

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Well what was your answer?
No, this time YOU make a little effort and look back to find it.
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:12 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Republicans could give cows the right to vote to help them in some close elections...
What evidence do you have that cows would vote Republican?
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:16 AM   #77
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We already know that pigs do.
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:50 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
... No, animals don't have "rights" even if we often call them that for political purposes. Children have a far better understanding of rights, even at three or four years of age, than any animal.
See post #16 for the one liner that, imo, covers the issue. To put flesh on it, see, for example, Franz de Waal's work with primates. But stated in general terms: if (notice the 'if') (1) one bases the formulation of rights on the Theory of Mind1, which, I would argue, is about the only place to do so, and (2) recognizes that evolution has produced a gradation of cognitive profiles in the animal kingdom, meaning that it is unlikely that "mind" is at all exclusive to humans, then, indeed, the reasoning leading to recognizing rights for humans may include other animals.

Also, whether a right is actionable by choice by the agent or not, given that rights are rules in a system, rights they would be.

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1For our purposes, the importance of the Theory of Mind is that, among social animals, it refers to the skill of assigning agency to other agents. This then determines how and when, for example, I might hide food, such as when no one is looking. Critically, success is dependent on being able to assign one's own internal states to others, making them in essence equally possessed of preference, will, and choice. Which, for brevity, I think leads to the obvious point about how a political ideology of equality may be derived from the workings of social behavior and the attributes/skills it depends on; a shared sameness [IMO, basic empathy lies at the crux of success as social animals, learning by imitation, and the ethics of fairness and equity in willing exchanges.]
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:53 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, that's exactly what I expect from you: you have your conclusion and you are making sure that discussing it is impossible. Animals have rights because the law says so even though it makes little sense and if we try to probe the limits of that principle we can't because we're discussing animals and not anything else. You are purposely making the debate verbotten because you don't want to evaluate the possibility that you might be wrong.



Irrelevant. If there were, would that mean that objects can have rights? Yes or no?



Oh? Higher mammals, now? How about ants? Don't they get rights?



Don't tell me what my own argument is, sir.



No, this time YOU make a little effort and look back to find it.

Look, we are not going to keep going round in circles on this - You are simply wrong and that is a fact (it's even a fact in law!) -

- you have been claiming that "animals cannot have rights" ... but that is 100% untrue isn't it! You are completely wrong when you say that aren't you! Yes you are, because it's an unarguable fact that they DO have such rights, and that is matter made Fact in law ...

... you are claiming "animals cannot have rights", but the FACT is that they do have such rights! So you are certainly wrong.
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Old 12th July 2017, 12:07 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Look, we are not going to keep going round in circles on this - You are simply wrong and that is a fact (it's even a fact in law!)
Thanks for proving my point. You're right and there's no possible discussion to be had. Par for the course for you, Ian.

What you call "animal rights" are not rights at all, but protections. Case closed. Here, I can do that, too!
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