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Old 19th December 2012, 06:05 PM   #401
Cain
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
How is that in any way a response to my post ?
That was a characterization of your rather daft remark, not to be confused. Do try to pay attention. The direct response came two sentences later. It's telling that you cut up my reply in a way to specifically respond to "that's mature" -- almost frame THAT as the response -- while ignoring the fact suffering vis-a-vis speciesism was discussed in this thread by me.

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How is that relevant ?
Are you really this clueless? There's a moral difference between volunteering oneself for bodily harm and being involuntarily committed. I'm sorry you can't see that, unless you're just being willfully obtuse.

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No, it isn't. It's perfectly normal to care for people in your more restricted group first. In this case, we're talking about a group of beings that aren't even in the same league. The difference between humans and non-human animals is so large, it's no wonder we didn't consider ourselves to be animals for so long, even with all the biological similarities.
You're conflating two different things. Yes, it's normal to care for one's group, but a speices-wide concern is severely abnormal. Kin relations tend to dominate as human beings compete with each other for scarce resources. A pithy description of evolution that I think works rather well is "the ability to convert resources into offspring."

As for the separate claim about a wide gulf between humans and non-humans, I can only repeat what has already been asked umpteen times: what are the morally significant differences?

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Taking a principle to its insane extreme is not a good way to make an argument.
This is what someone defending a crap principle might say. It's not an "insane extreme"; it uses experimentation to isolate essential features, but the idea of brother vs. stranger is rather common. I think there's a saying in Afghanistan, "Me against my brother. My brother and I against our cousin. Me, My brother and cousin against our neighbors. All of us against the foreigner."

From an impartial perspective my brother is not any more important than a stranger, all things being equal.... but then, humans are probably about as well suited for morality as cats are for playing the piano.

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It's not necessary in all cases.

"Essentially" ? They are not in any way synonyms. One means "I want it" and the other means "it's better than the alternative".
OK, I'll accept that. You're still not saying anything meaningful. Even if you distinguish these terms, they mean nothing. "I need it," "I want it," and "I prefer to have it." It's hot air. See the bolded section below.

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When did I say that it was all that matters ? Why are they mutually exclusive, suddenly ?
It's a conditional statement used, again, to isolate principles. If we have to treat animals "humanely" then human need-desire-preferences butt up against limits; in other words, you're saying it's OK for humans to suffer because of potential greater mistreatment to non-humans. That is something we could work with because it's more circumstantial than absolute. The main problem with this discussion is that your views are not apparently well thought out...

As I mentioned earlier, on the spectrum of how we use-exploit animals, research for cures is probably one of the easiest to allow, which explains why you find the defenders of AR in this thread not opposed to the idea in principle.

Estella

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It's obvious that we don't advocate murdering people for accessories so to respond to an argument that hasn't been made is full of straw.
You really should read for comprehension, dear. "If the only way for a person to live" is not the same as killing for accessories. Vital organs and Rolexes are not the same. You were saying something about straw?

Re: This does not follow. That we personally benefit from something does not make it right.
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Of course it follows, at least to most of us.
So it's OK that my great-great-great grandfather raped my great-great-great grandmother?

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And yes, because we can confer benefit to so many, "it" does make it right to humanely test on animals.
This is the kind of loaded sentence that leads to confusion. Do I think it's OK to test on animals when necessary? Of course. I may think it's OK to murder innocent people when it's necessary. The argument hinges on when, exactly, it's necessary. Here you're talking about an activity that confers a benefit to "so many" while done "humanely."

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Perhaps your human frailty. The fact that faced with imminent death would change your stance should tell you something about the weakness of such a stance in the first place.
I guess this nonsense sounded good in your head. It's a rather well-established fact that we can rely on human beings to promote their own self-interest, especially when their own skin is in the game... which is why we fail to consider the interests of the Other, or in this case, animals. I can try to put myself in the position of someone facing an illness, but I can also try to put myself in the position of a caged animal pumped full of experimental drugs.
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Old 19th December 2012, 06:54 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
That was a characterization of your rather daft remark, not to be confused.
I see. So it was not in any way useful to the discussion.

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Do try to pay attention.
Your continued use of incendiary remarks is noted.

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It's telling that you cut up my reply in a way to specifically respond to "that's mature" -- almost frame THAT as the response -- while ignoring the fact suffering vis-a-vis speciesism was discussed in this thread by me.
It would help if you just summarized your position rather than continue to whine that I haven't read a particular post of yours.

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Are you really this clueless?
Do you derive so much pleasure from insulting your opponents in debate that you must do it constantly ? Here's a thought: say it aloud to yourself, and don't post it. Next time you will be reported.

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There's a moral difference between volunteering oneself for bodily harm and being involuntarily committed.
Animals are unable to consent to anything, which prompted my question. Since our purpose in medecine is to reduce human suffering and death, replacing animal test subjects by human test subjects seems counterproductive, wouldn't you agree ?

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I'm sorry you can't see that, unless you're just being willfully obtuse.
Of course, that is the only possible reason why I disagree with you.

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You're conflating two different things. Yes, it's normal to care for one's group, but a speices-wide concern is severely abnormal.
I don't see that it is. We tend to respond favourably to things or people that we are familiar with, so it stands to reason that other humans elicit greater empathy from us than non-humans.

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As for the separate claim about a wide gulf between humans and non-humans, I can only repeat what has already been asked umpteen times: what are the morally significant differences?
For starters, animals are incapable of morals, which were invented by us to represent specifically-human realities.

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It's not an "insane extreme"; it uses experimentation to isolate essential features, but the idea of brother vs. stranger is rather common.
I think most people would consider stealing organs from a passerby a bit extreme.

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I think there's a saying in Afghanistan, "Me against my brother. My brother and I against our cousin. Me, My brother and cousin against our neighbors. All of us against the foreigner."
And all humans against non-humans ? Sounds like you're illustrating my point for me.

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From an impartial perspective my brother is not any more important than a stranger, all things being equal.... but then, humans are probably about as well suited for morality as cats are for playing the piano.
Humans are the only beings we know of suited for morality, so that's a ridiculous thing to say.

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OK, I'll accept that. You're still not saying anything meaningful. Even if you distinguish these terms, they mean nothing.
The very fact that the terms are distinguished from other terms gives them their meaning... but I suppose that's a semantic point.

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"I need it," "I want it," and "I prefer to have it." It's hot air.
Humans in general seem to care about individuals' wants and needs and preferences, so I submit that it's actually much more pragmatic than you admit.

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It's a conditional statement used, again, to isolate principles. If we have to treat animals "humanely" then human need-desire-preferences butt up against limits; in other words, you're saying it's OK for humans to suffer because of potential greater mistreatment to non-humans. That is something we could work with because it's more circumstantial than absolute.
It could indeed be a lot more interesting to discuss how far we take these principles and ideas rather than throw mud at each other just because some people think animals have rights or that humans should just get along without modern medecine.

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As I mentioned earlier, on the spectrum of how we use-exploit animals, research for cures is probably one of the easiest to allow, which explains why you find the defenders of AR in this thread not opposed to the idea in principle.
Depends who you ask, of course. A lot of AR people are very opposed to medical research on animals.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:39 AM   #403
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Estella

You really should read for comprehension, dear. "If the only way for a person to live" is not the same as killing for accessories. Vital organs and Rolexes are not the same. You were saying something about straw?
Gratuituous condescension doesn't make for a sound argument. You said:
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If the only way for a person to live is to find someone of a certain blood type, and get his heart, is it OK to resort to murder? What else is left with? Yeah, we don't live for ever.
Sarcastically replacing "organs" with "accessories" does not render your statement any less full of straw. No one is arguing that murdering people for their accessories organs. If you equate killing animals for their heart valves to murdering humans, that's your problem.

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Re: This does not follow. That we personally benefit from something does not make it right.
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You benefit from animal testing, so do I and so do our children and everyone else on the planet without the imminent threat of death. Immortality isn't the goal of animal testing....
Of course it "follows" for those of us who support animal testing. What's the point after all if it doesn't confer benefit? You appear to be arguing that since we don't live forever then there is no point in improving our quality or quantity of life.
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So it's OK that my great-great-great grandfather raped my great-great-great grandmother?
More straw with added histrionics.

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This is the kind of loaded sentence that leads to confusion. Do I think it's OK to test on animals when necessary? Of course. I may think it's OK to murder innocent people when it's necessary. The argument hinges on when, exactly, it's necessary. Here you're talking about an activity that confers a benefit to "so many" while done "humanely."
I don't see why this is confusing; my statement was quite straight-forward. The function of ethics review boards is to determine necessity of animal testing. The vast majority of those review boards are far more qualified to make that determination than you or PETA et al.

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I guess this nonsense sounded good in your head. It's a rather well-established fact that we can rely on human beings to promote their own self-interest, especially when their own skin is in the game... which is why we fail to consider the interests of the Other, or in this case, animals. I can try to put myself in the position of someone facing an illness, but I can also try to put myself in the position of a caged animal pumped full of experimental drugs.
Of course it sounds good because its on point. I'm consistent with my support of animal testing while you think it's only necessary under the threat of your own imminent death so you clearly place your own life above others'. It's an indefensible position.

Este
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Old 20th December 2012, 08:16 AM   #404
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Originally Posted by Estellea View Post
More straw with added histrionics.
When someone answers you with "so...", you can bet money that it's going to be followed by straw.
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:05 AM   #405
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Instant replay for those who missed it:

Originally Posted by Estella
You benefit from animal testing, so do I and so do our children and everyone else on the planet without the imminent threat of death. Immortality isn't the goal of animal testing....
Originally Posted by Cain
This does not follow. That we personally benefit from something does not make it right. Feel free to try again. As for "immortality," you're reading too much into that remark.
Originally Posted by Estella
t's obvious that we don't advocate murdering people for accessories so to respond to an argument that hasn't been made is full of straw.
Originally Posted by Cain
You really should read for comprehension, dear. "If the only way for a person to live" is not the same as killing for accessories. Vital organs and Rolexes are not the same. You were saying something about straw?
Originally Posted by Estella
Sarcastically replacing "organs" with "accessories" does not render your statement any less full of straw. No one is arguing that murdering people for their accessories organs. If you equate killing animals for their heart valves to murdering humans, that's your problem.
Estella, I don't think you're doing so intentionally, but you're missing the point. You're argument is that animal testing is acceptable because it confers a benefit to someone, and may even save someones life; Cain correctly points out that if take the underlying principle, that if saving one's own life justifies harming another, then its trivial to apply the principle to human interactions, so that we can justify forcefully removing peoples blood and organs to save others lives.

That's a wholly consistent view to hold, at least with how you've presented it so far. I don't think Cain is being unreasonable asking why you reject that belief when applied to humans, but accept it wholesale applied to mentally similar non-human animals.

Now, your responses to that point so far are:

- "but no one advocates murdering people for their organs!" Misses the point. Unless you have a damn good explanation to the contrary, your own principle logically justifies treating humans in that manner for the exact same reasons as you justify experimenting on non-human animals. Why don't you explain why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?

- "if you think taking a heart-valve out of an animal is the same as murdering a person, that's your problem." Completely transparent non-response. Maybe you'd have a better argument explaining why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?

- "but ethics boards determine if animal testing is necessary". Misses the point. The point is whether the same ethics which justify lethal animal experimentation carry over to justify lethal human experimentation. Why don't you explain why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?

Can you do me the courtesy of a polite, no-nonsense, straight-forward response explaining why your arguments for animal experimentation do not logically carry over to justify human experimentation?
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:44 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Estella, I don't think you're doing so intentionally, but you're missing the point. You're argument is that animal testing is acceptable because it confers a benefit to someone, and may even save someones life; Cain correctly points out that if take the underlying principle, that if saving one's own life justifies harming another, then its trivial to apply the principle to human interactions, so that we can justify forcefully removing peoples blood and organs to save others lives.
The problem with Cain's argument, riddled with insults as it is, is that taking _any_ moral principle to its logical extreme yields such problems, which is one of many reasons why morals are often problematic, since they are emotion-driven.

Not to speak for Estella, but I think the point is that it's acceptable because it benefits society as a whole, corresponds to our objectives and logically follows from them, and is acceptable to most individuals; or a combination of these.

Most discussions about animal rights are problematic for several reasons, and not the least of which because it's entirely emotion-based. There is little "objective" reason against hunting animals for food or using them to test medecine, aside from "oh, look how cuddly they are" or "I am uncomfortable with animals being subjected to pain" or something similar. Any argument given in support of that side of the argument is rationalizing the emotion behind it. The opposite side may be called arbitrary, but at least it's utilitarian. It may not be convincing to a lot of people, but it's sure better than appeals to emotion.

Personally, I find the idea of animal "rights" ridiculous, since rights, like morals, are human inventions that can only apply to or be understood by humans anyway. I think most humans would agree that our natural empathy makes us uncomfortable with hurting animals in the first place. But the thing about AR arguments that I take exception to is that very often the debate starts with mentioning that hurting animals is abhorrent, something almost no sane human would object to anyway. But if you point out solutions and current efforts to minimise or eliminate suffering for animals under human care, suddenly it's no longer about pain but about life itself. Then when one asks about killing plants, again the argument switches back to pain because plants don't have a nervous system. Of course this might mean that torturing spiders would be ok, something I personally don't agree with. All this certainly reveals that there's an underlying emotional component to the AR proponents that steers the debate: it's not about arguments but about feelings.
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Last edited by Belz...; 20th December 2012 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:10 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
The problem with Cain's argument, riddled with insults as it is, is that taking _any_ moral principle to its logical extreme yields"
Dismissing Cain's comment as "taking a moral principle to its logical extreme" is one way to exit the discussion, but its not an unreasonable response to Estella. Her entire argument is that there is some critical moral distinction between animal experimentation and human experimentation, even when they are performed using the exact same methods to serve the exact same purpose, even when they are suffer or are anesthetized to the same same degree -- it's just not clear how she avoids either reducing humans to the status of animals, or raising animals to the status of humans.

I've yet to see Cain make an argument "based on emotion". I think the whole crux of his argument, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, is that he's no so much interested in what people's moral beliefs are, just that those beliefs are consistent. Makes sense based on the numerous examples in this thread in which forumites permit treating animals in a manner considered torture if an infant human were used in its place. The point isn't to draw out emotional outrage, but just draw out an explanation why arguments against animal rights do not logically carry over to human rights. If there's no explanation, that's a problem, either it undermines the argument against animal rights entirely, or undermines the argument for human rights.

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such problems, which is one of many reasons why morals are often problematic, since they are emotion-driven.
You know that recent tragedy in which a gunman shot and killed 20 children and 5 adults at an elementary school, you know how much emotional outrage there's been in the last few days over it? Do you think "you're just being emotional" makes the slaughter acceptable?

No, I'm not appealing to emotion here. Your argument is that, if people have an emotional investment in justifying their ethics, then we ought to dismiss the ethical point of view in its entirety. Its hard not to follow that line of thought down the rabbit hole and conclude that all human rights abuses are permitted, unless you take the view that people can have an emotional involvement in events like that because there's a good reason to object to them. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

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Personally, I find the idea of animal "rights" ridiculous, since rights, like morals, are human inventions that can only apply to or be understood by humans anyway.
Understood by a subset of humans that is. Do you actually hold a view that "rights" only apply to those who understand them? Do you think there's a good argument that a certain subset of humans have "rights", even if they aren't rational enough to know what rights are in the first place? If so, congrats, you've figured out what a moral patient is, and figured out why rights can include non-rational humans and animals.

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I think most humans would agree that our natural empathy makes us uncomfortable with hurting animals in the first place. But the thing about AR arguments that I take exception to is that very often the debate starts with mentioning that hurting animals is abhorrent, something almost no sane human would object to anyway. But if you point out solutions and current efforts to minimise or eliminate suffering for animals under human care, suddenly it's no longer about pain but about life itself. Then when one asks about killing plants, again the argument switches back to pain because plants don't have a nervous system. Of course this might mean that torturing spiders would be ok, something I personally don't agree with. All this certainly reveals that there's an underlying emotional component to the AR proponents that steers the debate: it's not about arguments but about feelings.
Now you're falling down the rabbit hole again, substituting "human" in place of "animal" makes this an identical criticism against human rights.

Take this comment:
Seriously, human empathy makes use naturally uncomfortable with hurting other humans. And when you point out efforts to eliminate suffering for humans being prepped for slaughter or experimentation, suddenly its not the pain that matters; then you talk about human embryos and suddenly the argument switches back to embryos having no mental life. At a certain point, emotional outrage is all that steers the human rights debate, its all feelings without argument.
Maybe you actually accept that comment at face value, and my mass murder comment wasn't as facetious as it initially came across. Or maybe you'd reject that argument against human rights as being an absolutely moronic mischaracterization of the entire movements philosophy.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:41 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Instant replay for those who missed it:







Estella, I don't think you're doing so intentionally, but you're missing the point. You're argument is that animal testing is acceptable because it confers a benefit to someone, and may even save someones life; Cain correctly points out that if take the underlying principle, that if saving one's own life justifies harming another, then its trivial to apply the principle to human interactions, so that we can justify forcefully removing peoples blood and organs to save others lives.

That's a wholly consistent view to hold, at least with how you've presented it so far. I don't think Cain is being unreasonable asking why you reject that belief when applied to humans, but accept it wholesale applied to mentally similar non-human animals.

Now, your responses to that point so far are:

- "but no one advocates murdering people for their organs!" Misses the point. Unless you have a damn good explanation to the contrary, your own principle logically justifies treating humans in that manner for the exact same reasons as you justify experimenting on non-human animals. Why don't you explain why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?

- "if you think taking a heart-valve out of an animal is the same as murdering a person, that's your problem." Completely transparent non-response. Maybe you'd have a better argument explaining why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?

- "but ethics boards determine if animal testing is necessary". Misses the point. The point is whether the same ethics which justify lethal animal experimentation carry over to justify lethal human experimentation. Why don't you explain why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?

Can you do me the courtesy of a polite, no-nonsense, straight-forward response explaining why your arguments for animal experimentation do not logically carry over to justify human experimentation?
Animals aren't humans.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:49 AM   #409
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On a similar course, but sort-of-off-topic, I just wanted to note that I'd really like to see the development and use of cultured meats. Humane reasons are a great reason, not to mention the ability to feed far more people more cheaply. Potentially. Once the giggle/squeamish factor fades, I reckon there will be much more interest.
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Old 20th December 2012, 12:22 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Dismissing Cain's comment as "taking a moral principle to its logical extreme" is one way to exit the discussion
How am I exiting the discussion while participating in it ?

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Her entire argument is that there is some critical moral distinction between animal experimentation and human experimentation
Of course there is, as I already explained: morals are a human thing, and most people feel differently towards animals than they do towards people. Do you agree that morals have a mainly emotional component ?

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I've yet to see Cain make an argument "based on emotion".
It depends how you are trying to detect the emotion behind the argument.

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I think the whole crux of his argument, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, is that he's no so much interested in what people's moral beliefs are, just that those beliefs are consistent.
If that's all there is to it than he and I can agree, so long as he points out my mistakes without constantly insulting me.

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Makes sense based on the numerous examples in this thread in which forumites permit treating animals in a manner considered torture if an infant human were used in its place.
The problem is that this assumes that there is no important difference between animals and humans, something we obviously disagree on. But if one doesn't see non-human animals as the same as humans, then it's entirely consistent.

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You know that recent tragedy in which a gunman shot and killed 20 children and 5 adults at an elementary school, you know how much emotional outrage there's been in the last few days over it? Do you think "you're just being emotional" makes the slaughter acceptable?
I know of no one, ever, who has made this argument in the history of mankind. Certainly not me. I think people's emotional reaction to this event, though understandable, is exaggerated, but that's my personal opinion. It doesn't excuse the act, and more than one thread have spawned discussing how to prevent future such occurances.

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No, I'm not appealing to emotion here. Your argument is that, if people have an emotional investment in justifying their ethics, then we ought to dismiss the ethical point of view in its entirety.
No it's not my argument at all. I don't know how you derive that from my posts. But emotions are not arguments. If you make an argument based on the reality of people's emotions, that's one thing. If you make an argument based on YOUR emotions, I will find it less convincing.

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Its hard not to follow that line of thought down the rabbit hole and conclude that all human rights abuses are permitted, unless you take the view that people can have an emotional involvement in events like that because there's a good reason to object to them. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?
It's a fact that a society where murder is allowed and unpunished would be disfunctional in many ways, and that alone is enough to enact laws against murder. Human emotions are very much a part of why it wouldn't work without said laws. But saying that murder should be illegal because you don't like it isn't very useful.

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Understood by a subset of humans that is. Do you actually hold a view that "rights" only apply to those who understand them? Do you think there's a good argument that a certain subset of humans have "rights", even if they aren't rational enough to know what rights are in the first place? If so, congrats, you've figured out what a moral patient is, and figured out why rights can include non-rational humans and animals.
"Can" only if we give them. But like it or not, brain-dead patients and young children have no understanding of morals or rights. They also cannot give consent, something we very much take into consideration when writing laws.

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Now you're falling down the rabbit hole again, substituting "human" in place of "animal" makes this an identical criticism against human rights.
Only if I agree that the substitution works. I don't agree that animals are equal to people. I see them as a ressource, though one capable of suffering and therefore to be handled with care, if only because people, including myself, are uncomfortable with causing needless pain.

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Take this comment:
Seriously, human empathy makes use naturally uncomfortable with hurting other humans. And when you point out efforts to eliminate suffering for humans being prepped for slaughter or experimentation, suddenly its not the pain that matters; then you talk about human embryos and suddenly the argument switches back to embryos having no mental life. At a certain point, emotional outrage is all that steers the human rights debate, its all feelings without argument.
Maybe you actually accept that comment at face value, and my mass murder comment wasn't as facetious as it initially came across. Or maybe you'd reject that argument against human rights as being an absolutely moronic mischaracterization of the entire movements philosophy.
I'm sorry, but you've lost me a bit. Would you mind re-phrasing ?
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Old 20th December 2012, 12:25 PM   #411
Belz...
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Originally Posted by Mister Earl View Post
On a similar course, but sort-of-off-topic, I just wanted to note that I'd really like to see the development and use of cultured meats. Humane reasons are a great reason, not to mention the ability to feed far more people more cheaply. Potentially. Once the giggle/squeamish factor fades, I reckon there will be much more interest.
Of course, if we developed entirely lab-grown meat and plant matter, there'd be no need to use actual lifeforms. In order to make the switch, however, you might want to have some convincing argument other than "don't need", like "would take up less space, time and resources."
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Old 20th December 2012, 12:33 PM   #412
Mister Earl
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Of course, if we developed entirely lab-grown meat and plant matter, there'd be no need to use actual lifeforms. In order to make the switch, however, you might want to have some convincing argument other than "don't need", like "would take up less space, time and resources."
Or perhaps, "Grown complete with seasoning and marinade."
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Old 20th December 2012, 02:23 PM   #413
Cain
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I see. So it was not in any way useful to the discussion.
Your posts writ large. You thrive on balkanizing the discussion because arguments get lost when we trade sentences. Here it takes a third party (Dessi) to come and set things straight.

Re: Species wide concern as unnatural:
Quote:
I don't see that it is. We tend to respond favourably to things or people that we are familiar with, so it stands to reason that other humans elicit greater empathy from us than non-humans.
You're tilting at windmills. Humans tend to care more for their blood relatives -- is that a strong foundation for a moral theory? And while humans generally do elicit greater empathy than non-humans -- cats are far more distant cousins than other homo sapiens -- people spend billions of dollars on "pet" food while their fellow man starves.

Quote:
Animals are unable to consent to anything, which prompted my question. Since our purpose in medecine is to reduce human suffering and death, replacing animal test subjects by human test subjects seems counterproductive, wouldn't you agree ?
For the record, I'll dispute "our purpose in medicine." There are animal doctors. Hell, some animals receive have more doctor visits than human beings. As for what's productive or counterproductive, elsewhere you concede that the advance of medical progress runs up against ethical concerns.

The problem with much of this discussion is not the claims of humans versus non-humans but the needs of the many the versus the rights of the few. As I remarked earlier on this very sub-topic, when someone from PeTA claims she would oppose killing one rat to cure cancer and AIDS, she's not setting herself up as a crazy animal rights person. No, she's an extreme Kantian.

Any kind of testing, human or non-human, brings forth problems of using an individual as a means to an end. On some views such testing violates natural individual rights, fails to respect the "separateness of persons" etc. These are complex, long-standing problems in moral philosophy which predate animal rights. This is why it makes perfect sense to talk about "mentally similar human beings."

The argument for animal rights does not critically depend on throwing in with the utilitarians or anyone else, but simply having people recognize that we cannot arbitrarily discriminate against someone purely on the basis of species any more than we can discriminate on the basis of blood-relatedness.

What makes humans so much more special than animals:
Quote:
For starters, animals are incapable of morals, which were invented by us to represent specifically-human realities.
This goes to a distinction between moral patients and moral agents. Which is to say there are some human beings incapable of understanding morality, but this fact does not render them unworthy of moral consideration.

Re: me vs. my brother etc...
Quote:
And all humans against non-humans ? Sounds like you're illustrating my point for me.
On the contrary, I don't think you're very good at anticipating the implications many of your views carry.

------
Estellea
Quote:
Sarcastically replacing "organs" with "accessories" does not render your statement any less full of straw.
You see what happened here? You've accused me multiple times of setting up straw man arguments, yet you consistently fail to explain how they're straw men. I accused you of doing the same, and then rather easily pointed out that vital organs are not the same as accessories. Later in your post you cry: "More straw with added histrionics." And it's not difficult to see you're surely on the losing end of that argument as well.

Quote:
No one is arguing that murdering people for their accessories organs. If you equate killing animals for their heart valves to murdering humans, that's your problem.
You're missing the context of the discussion. It was an argument that took the form of reducing to absurd. I'm saying that I cannot privilege my own interests above others. In the specific case of killing a single animal for a vital organ, well, even I might favor that to save a human being. If we're talking about killing an animal because she provides 10 ten tasty meals, then that's another matter... which is yet another reason why the experimentation angle is dumb way of approaching animal rights. It's like how pro-lifers want to discuss late-pregnancy "partial-birth" abortions when 90% of abortions occur in the first trimester.

Quote:
I don't see why this is confusing; my statement was quite straight-forward. The function of ethics review boards is to determine necessity of animal testing. The vast majority of those review boards are far more qualified to make that determination than you or PETA et al.
You're still not getting it. The fact we have set up a bureaucracy means we're impeding medical progress, prolonging human suffering, and for what? Out of concern for animals. A libertarian, for example, might contend that it's misleading for a news article to say "FDA approves procedure." Instead the headline could just as well read "FDA lifts ban on procedure." Time does not stand still. While review boards consider harm to animals, human beings are suffering and dying. You're apparently saying it's OK for those humans to suffer and die because we have to make sure animals are not going to be mistreated.
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:08 PM   #414
Belz...
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Humans tend to care more for their blood relatives -- is that a strong foundation for a moral theory?
I don't think there is a strong foundation for a moral theory.

Quote:
And while humans generally do elicit greater empathy than non-humans -- cats are far more distant cousins than other homo sapiens -- people spend billions of dollars on "pet" food while their fellow man starves.
Of course, but for the same reason: they see the kawaii and don't think.

Quote:
For the record, I'll dispute "our purpose in medicine." There are animal doctors. Hell, some animals receive have more doctor visits than human beings.
I'll grant that and correct myself: human medecine.

Quote:
As for what's productive or counterproductive, elsewhere you concede that the advance of medical progress runs up against ethical concerns.
Please elaborate on that, as I don't remember saying anything remotely like that.

Quote:
The problem with much of this discussion is not the claims of humans versus non-humans but the needs of the many the versus the rights of the few.
How so ? There are a lot more animals than humans, and again I don't remember making that argument.

Quote:
As I remarked earlier on this very sub-topic, when someone from PeTA claims she would oppose killing one rat to cure cancer and AIDS, she's not setting herself up as a crazy animal rights person. No, she's an extreme Kantian.
Extremists are usually crazy anyway. I'd gladly sacrifice millions of rats to save one human convict.

Quote:
Any kind of testing, human or non-human, brings forth problems of using an individual as a means to an end. On some views such testing violates natural individual rights, fails to respect the "separateness of persons" etc. These are complex, long-standing problems in moral philosophy which predate animal rights. This is why it makes perfect sense to talk about "mentally similar human beings."
Of course it's a legitimate subject of discussion. But consent has always been at the center of a lot of laws and moral principles.

Quote:
The argument for animal rights does not critically depend on throwing in with the utilitarians or anyone else, but simply having people recognize that we cannot arbitrarily discriminate against someone purely on the basis of species any more than we can discriminate on the basis of blood-relatedness.
Again: someoONE ? This is a term that is specifically tailored to humans, so it's not really discrimination. Are you saying that dogs are people ?

Quote:
What makes humans so much more special than animals:
My point is that any discussion about morals is by definition limited to humans unless you can demonstrate that animals are morally equivalent to humans, which is impossible.

Quote:
This goes to a distinction between moral patients and moral agents. Which is to say there are some human beings incapable of understanding morality, but this fact does not render them unworthy of moral consideration.
It's a necessary distinction but it's not the only one, Cain. I said "for starters", indicating that thee are others.

Quote:
On the contrary, I don't think you're very good at anticipating the implications many of your views carry.
Or you just read too much into what I say.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:39 PM   #415
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Quote:
The impartiality requirement handily destroys egoism, nationalism, racism, heterosexism and, yes, speciesism.
Ughm...just coming out of lurkdom to question this. Does impartiality also destroy asexism, bisexism, homosexism, metrosexism, trysexism, etc?

Yes; I know the question is facetious, but I really am curious. To me, impartial simply means trying to see two or more points of view in an equal light, or with equal interest. It has nothing to do with destroying or even impairing any of the things you listed.
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Old 20th December 2012, 07:57 PM   #416
Belz...
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Ughm...just coming out of lurkdom to question this. Does impartiality also destroy asexism, bisexism, homosexism, metrosexism, trysexism, etc?

Yes; I know the question is facetious, but I really am curious. To me, impartial simply means trying to see two or more points of view in an equal light, or with equal interest. It has nothing to do with destroying or even impairing any of the things you listed.
This thread is rapidly descending into exactly the sort of idealistic nonsense I predicted earlier, and reveals the emotions that underly the AR argument. It's not about anything practical, useful, pragmatic or preferable. It's about how they feel about the cuddly animals.
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Old 21st December 2012, 07:57 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Instant replay for those who missed it:


Estella, I don't think you're doing so intentionally, but you're missing the point. You're argument is that animal testing is acceptable because it confers a benefit to someone, and may even save someones life; Cain correctly points out that if take the underlying principle, that if saving one's own life justifies harming another, then its trivial to apply the principle to human interactions, so that we can justify forcefully removing peoples blood and organs to save others lives.

That's a wholly consistent view to hold, at least with how you've presented it so far. I don't think Cain is being unreasonable asking why you reject that belief when applied to humans, but accept it wholesale applied to mentally similar non-human animals.
It's not a misunderstanding at all. Animals=/=humans and all the arguments for that have been presented here and other animal rights threads so I won't bore anyone with a regurgitation. You see them as equal so there will never be any agreement. You and Cain are not consistent by the way as you believe that if your own life is in peril (and even used the example of the PETA princess) then animals suddenly become expendable as test subjects. You are the one using the nauseating "mentally-similar" argument; Cain has spoken of humans in general.

Quote:
Now, your responses to that point so far are:

- "but no one advocates murdering people for their organs!" Misses the point. Unless you have a damn good explanation to the contrary, your own principle logically justifies treating humans in that manner for the exact same reasons as you justify experimenting on non-human animals. Why don't you explain why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?
Already done. You and I will never agree on this and it's that simple
Quote:
- "if you think taking a heart-valve out of an animal is the same as murdering a person, that's your problem." Completely transparent non-response. Maybe you'd have a better argument explaining why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?
Again, already done. Animals=/=humans.
Quote:
- "but ethics boards determine if animal testing is necessary". Misses the point. The point is whether the same ethics which justify lethal animal experimentation carry over to justify lethal human experimentation. Why don't you explain why its acceptable to kill an animal for their live-saving organs, but unacceptable to kill a person for the exact same purpose?
You're just repeating yourself. Cain asked who decides when it's necessary; I told her. Why don't you let Cain speak for herself; she doesn't appear to have any deficits in that regard.

Quote:
Can you do me the courtesy of a polite, no-nonsense, straight-forward response explaining why your arguments for animal experimentation do not logically carry over to justify human experimentation?
Animals=/=humans. No misunderstanding just pure disagreement.

Este
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Old 21st December 2012, 08:12 AM   #418
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You are begging the same question repeatedly. Why does it matter that all animals are not human?
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Old 21st December 2012, 09:03 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
You are begging the same question repeatedly. Why does it matter that all animals are not human?
Well it matters when the argument is made that you can swap "animal" for "human" in any argument. If they're not the same, you can't. If you can, you have to demonstrate why it's the case.
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