3 of 3
3
Omnivore Furgivore ...
Posted: 19 July 2012 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4072
Joined  2006-11-28

Yes, George, that’s basically what I was getting at. There’s a certain arbitrariness to so much moral reasoning that is at odds with how seriously we take our own conclusions about such subjects.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 July 2012 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6016
Joined  2009-02-26
mckenzievmd - 19 July 2012 07:49 AM

Yes, George, that’s basically what I was getting at. There’s a certain arbitrariness to so much moral reasoning that is at odds with how seriously we take our own conclusions about such subjects.

In principle I agree, but we need only go back in history a short way to find that natives peoples’ and tribe’ lives depended on a succesful pre-winter hunt.
But then they never killed more than necessary and used every single part of the animals, nothing was wasted and one can truly claim that they lived within the natural (a)morality of our biosphere. But as usual, mechanization has turned this balancing act completely upside down. Today we destroy and kill wantonly and in return we contribute to pollution of ecosystem.

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 July 2012 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6016
Joined  2009-02-26

A little aside, but perhaps pertinent to the morality question.

This is an example of our willful disrespect and disregard for the intelligence of our close cousins.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/07/120719-young-gorillas-juvenile-traps-snares-rwanda-science-fossey/

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 July 2012 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4072
Joined  2006-11-28

But then they never killed more than necessary and used every single part of the animals, nothing was wasted and one can truly claim that they lived within the natural (a)morality of our biosphere.

Of course, one can also go back that little ways and find ritual sacrifice of animals for healing, divination, and other superstitious reasons, and all manner of treatment of animals that many of us in modern industrial nations would find abhorrent. And the European lion, the dodo, and perhaps most of the earth’s megafauna were all wiped out by pre-industrial human beings. Let’s be careful about the “noble savage” view of pre-industrial humanity as all gentle and harmonious with their environmment. And let’s not forget that peopel from cultures all over the world rejected living as part of nature and embraced the comforts of technology as soon as they could.

I certainly agree that industrialization has allowed us to damage the planet in terrible and unprecedented ways, but I don’t think anything about us has fundamentally changed.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 July 2012 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6016
Joined  2009-02-26
mckenzievmd - 20 July 2012 01:44 PM

But then they never killed more than necessary and used every single part of the animals, nothing was wasted and one can truly claim that they lived within the natural (a)morality of our biosphere.

Of course, one can also go back that little ways and find ritual sacrifice of animals for healing, divination, and other superstitious reasons, and all manner of treatment of animals that many of us in modern industrial nations would find abhorrent. And the European lion, the dodo, and perhaps most of the earth’s megafauna were all wiped out by pre-industrial human beings. Let’s be careful about the “noble savage” view of pre-industrial humanity as all gentle and harmonious with their environmment. And let’s not forget that peopel from cultures all over the world rejected living as part of nature and embraced the comforts of technology as soon as they could.

I certainly agree that industrialization has allowed us to damage the planet in terrible and unprecedented ways, but I don’t think anything about us has fundamentally changed.

I understand and agree with all you say. I was not saying that the noble savages were somehow more moral than other species. Moreover they lived close to nature and because of that were forced to maintain a more or less stable population which was designed to fit within the immediate environment.
Then came technology and everything changed. Our ways may not have changed much but our reach and influence on the environment has increase a thousandfold.  IMO, one of the greatest ethical sins is Greed. Using more than nature can provide. It is not just predatory, it is virulent.

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 July 2012 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3104
Joined  2011-08-15

I understand and agree with all you say. I was not saying that the noble savages were somehow more moral than other species. Moreover they lived close to nature and because of that were forced to maintain a more or less stable population which was designed to fit within the immediate environment.
Then came technology and everything changed. Our ways may not have changed much but our reach and influence on the environment has increase a thousandfold.  IMO, one of the greatest ethical sins is Greed. Using more than nature can provide. It is not just predatory, it is virulent.

I don’t think that there’s much of an argument here concerning natives in The Americas and what they considered ethical in the
Pre-Colombian period. The environment was lived IN and not especially ON if that’s your point Write. Native peoples took only what they needed to sustain their own group knowing that hunting an area out of animals or destroying The land meant their own deaths, and everything was communally shared. Then again there were only 7 million people living in pre-columbian America and food was plentiful. Exploitation of the game animals began when those who survived the European induced diseases turned to utilizing the animals for trade and not just sustenance. Ex. The beaver, trapped out in the eastern states in a little more than a century. the pelts were used as a medium of exchange for technologically advanced weapons and metal tools. And booze. The exploitation of the environment began and it was unstoppable, especially when gold, silver and precious minerals were found. Exploitation of animals for a ritualistic purpose pales in comparison. What we need to do know is learn once again to respect the only environment we have left, those 318 million of us and take a cue from hard lessons learned from the native people’s; you screw with the environment enough and you’ll die. See Cahokia as an example. Our only city before Columbus came a’calling.


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 3
3