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Richard Dawkins - Science and the New Atheism
Posted: 02 November 2008 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 256 ]
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sate - 02 November 2008 01:55 PM

( to erasmusinfinity) What madness grips this thread? BaiB is in full-tilt foaming at the mouth mode, but what is your excuse? Why wouldn’t I have an argument to justify it? is this insult necessary? What is the matter with you? intent without reason? Here’s an idea: how about you ask instead of just leap to hurling insults? I thought you were better than this.

You have a very bad way of conducting debates.  You jumped in the middle of the discussion, did not read what was already said, make everyone repeat himself/herself, and demand to be bagged for input.

sate - 02 November 2008 01:55 PM

First, no preference need be justified. It is what it is. You like chocolate and I like rocky road. So what? Now is one choice moral or immoral? That’s another question- an action needs to be justified. My justification is that animals do not have sufficient moral status that prohibits using them for sustenance. They are not people. They do not have any particular right to exist.

Is this supposed to be an argument?  You are just making a statement.  Where are you premises?

sate - 02 November 2008 01:55 PM

Where are the protestors for protozoa and dust mites, I wonder? Funny their animalistic rights to life seem absenta even from PETAs agenda. Seems we all draw our line somewhere.. don’t we?

AR draw the line at sentience and autonomy.  This is the same line we draw with humans.  We do not give rights to humans who are in vegetative state or live inside someone else’s body.
Where do you draw the line and WHY?

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Posted: 02 November 2008 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 257 ]
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VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 02:09 PM

Would you argue that mans domestication of these animals,whether it is chickens for food,cows for meat and milk,horses for power and transportation,was unnatural?

I don’t care what is natural and what is unnatural (whatever you mean by these terms).  I care what is moral and what is immoral.

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 02:09 PM

Would you argue that this development of humankind was a wrong turn in the history of civilization?

It was not wrong to domesticate plants.  It was wrong to domesticate animals.  Animals are sentient beings, and as such deserve a right not to be used as a means to an end.

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 02:09 PM

Are you proposing that man,now in the present day is enlightened enough to know that these were wrong choices,and that now we must turn away from the animal as a means of resource?

Yes.

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 02:09 PM

One other question.Do you have any pets?

A couple of cats, whom I took off the street, live with me. They would have starved if I did not take them. But I am against pet ownership.  I am against breeding domesticated animals.

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Posted: 02 November 2008 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 258 ]
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sate - 02 November 2008 02:02 PM

I’m glad Spain is there to show us the way. They are on the frontier of animal rights.. in between that thing where they slice up drugged cows to the cheers of stadium crowds I mean. Either way, they’re all about the cutting edge.

Bullfighting is a very old tradition and a big tourist attraction.  That is why it is very difficult to eradicate.  But it has been banned in a few cities; Barcelona is one of them, if I remember correctly.  Bullfighting is definitely dying a slow death.  Young people are not interested in it at all.

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Posted: 02 November 2008 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 259 ]
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BaIB - 02 November 2008 04:07 PM
sate - 02 November 2008 02:02 PM

I’m glad Spain is there to show us the way. They are on the frontier of animal rights.. in between that thing where they slice up drugged cows to the cheers of stadium crowds I mean. Either way, they’re all about the cutting edge.

Bullfighting is a very old tradition and a big tourist attraction.  That is why it is very difficult to eradicate.  But it has been banned in a few cities; Barcelona is one of them, if I remember correctly.  Bullfighting is definitely dying a slow death.  Young people are not interested in it at all.

I would say that pork chops are a very old tradition too.What’s the numbers on them?Are they also a dying tradition?
How are your cats adjusting to the all vegetable diet you’ve imposed on them?

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Posted: 02 November 2008 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 260 ]
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This ongoing argument concerning vegetarianism is interesting indeed.Science and the New Atheism.I don’t know what the “New Atheism"is,but let’s look at it from a humanist standpoint.What is a humanist,if a humanist doesn’t know where humans came from?
It would be impossible to trace back to where humans,or their forebearers began incorporating animals into their diet.As a matter of fact,you would have to go back to a point where these progenitors of man didn’t even resemble man.And still,animals would have been included in their diet.
As for the past in which we can see,we can accurately trace the “evolution” in which man began to use animals.The wolf turning into a dog,and subsequently,and symbiotically joining humans in their UNPLANNED rise to dominance.Vast herds of ruminous animals,which even if man never domesticated,even if man never ate single cow,would still be ripe pickings for plenty of other predators.These herding ruminators were there,almost as if evolution had planned it that way!!The horse.Where would man be now without the horse.For those of you who bellow that man can advance without interfering with other sentient beings,where do you think we would be without the horse,the mule,or the ox???This is symbiosis.Evolutionary symbiosis.The fact that we have reason,and an ability for multi-tiered thinking is part of the evolutionary process that allowed us to use these animals.
Now,some may say,NO,that’s not symbiosis because it is not mutually beneficial.Well who’s to say that?How do we know that animals once domesticated,aren’t “happy"in their roles.They are cared for,fed,and protected from other predators.We don’t know.We can’t communicate with animals.Are we certain that animals can’t dread “enslavement”.Can animals think of their mortality.Most scientists would answer NO to these preceding 2 questions.Therefore,if the animal is used to benefit mankind,and it’s
treated with the care that humans have given them-thus their continued existance-then what is the problem?The animal is not immortal.It is going to die anyways.
Now I know I put up a few sentences there at the end that will offer grist for the opposing opinion,but I’m willing to do so.As someone who tries to live life with humanist values,I am willing to offer up all sides of the coin.A humanist must first know the definition of a human.Period!
Meanwhile,humankind went right along,enrichening their diets with a wide array of food.Proteins which are essential to human diet are broken down into different amino acids.These acids are found piecemeal in different food sources.Some vegetables are ripe with some amino acids,some meats contain more of other amino acids.Animals,including humans know by instinct where to aquire these different nutrients.Thus,the fly being attracted to a dung heap.An elk knows which plants to eat,which are rich with the minerals that it needs to grow antlers.Bears instinctly know when salmon spawn,and sit at the perfect spot on a river.
“The New Atheism” At first glance,this seems an attempt to gain followers.Organized Atheism.In todays world of “new age” beliefs,veganism,vegetarianism,environmentalism,god questioners etc..“The New Atheists” have a whole new caste of people to recruit from.To advance the cause with.The new atheists!What happened to the old atheists?
Trying to categorize a “new moral code"of atheism,or humanism,and inject those codes into humankinds instinctual behavior,is a study in frivolity.Can someone start a commune with these “moral codes”?Yes.How about a county?Maybe.A country?A world?A humanist should be concerned with rationality,peace,sharing natural resources,knowledge.When someone begins to toy with the idea of questioning the practices of the human animal,then what.Whos morals are the right ones?How idiotic it would be,to look back on humans past and say,“That was wrong!They evolved all wrong!!They weren’t supposed to eat meat,or tame oxen,or keep goldfish"How crazy is it,to think that we can convince people that eating animals is wrong?Can you convince someone from Conneticut of this?Can you convince a Vietnamese peasant of this?How about a Slovakian?While you’re telling them meat is evil,you can close your argument by convincing them that there is no god.Yes that all ties in together real nice.
To be a humanist,one must first know the origins of humanity.Then a humanist can look forward and see where the humans are going.

[ Edited: 02 November 2008 05:49 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 03 November 2008 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 261 ]
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BaIB - 02 November 2008 01:02 PM

Why are you comparing these two things?  What do they have in common?

I didn’t. You did. But hey, why should you have to remember what you said? You arn’t a database so much as a gatlin gun’o truth! fire away.

BaiB - 02 November 2008 01:42 PM

When did you join this discussion?  There were at least 3 variations of the argument for animal rights…

I am late to the party but I have read this entire thread, I’ve heard the podcast, I watched the bloody porn-umentary Erasmus suggested (Earthlings- 1h35m), and I even read up on Singer and Regan. Since I got in here a bit late I would like to present my own ethical theory on animal rights. I call it the Doctrine of Deliciousness.

Doctrine of Deliciousness
I assert that animals have fundamental and inalienable rights. The right to be food (only when necessary and delicious). The right to become quality consumer goods (when tastefully accessorized). Now before you object, let me say not every animal should get to be food. No animal (or plant, really) has the right to become food without having the relevant characteristics- no animal shall gain said right unless found delicious by a “reasonable” cook or sous chef. For example a reasonable sous chef would agree that any animal entree should be spruced up with the right spices & species & side dishes but that simply adding bacon to an untasty animal in fact does not make it so for ethical considerations. Similarly a board of retail moral philosophers will be convened to decide what animals can ethically be made into exciting new activewear and the like.

Erring on the side of Delectability
While we know many domesticated animals desire nothing more than to serve mankind (dogs, carrier pigeons, helper monkeys), we can’t be sure cows want to be eaten. In these cases we should err on the side of yumminess for the reason that the satiety of millions hangs in the balance. Further, we know as a fact that all the smarter animals choose to serve man- seeing-eye dogs, canaries who willingly fly into coal mines, circus elephants and dolphins who deliberately swim into nets so they can be sandwiches later. Therefore, we can conclude that dumber animals strive toward this goal but don’t yet have the capacity to actualize their desire to become products. Why should they be penalized? Don’t you want to help lower animals achieve their biological ambitions the way seeing-eye dogs have? Or maybe you want to see blind people stumble in front of buses. That’s just sickening. I can’t believe you suggested it.

Ending Speciesism
I agree with Peter Singer in that we must end speciesism. That is why the doctrine of deliciousness applies to all species and in fact, all living things- plants, fungi.. everything which makes my moral theory much broader in application than Singer’s own narrow view. I do not think one species gets the right to be food and another does not just because it is a different kind of creature- all living things have this right on the basis of their own culinary merit. Why, even the lowliest mushroom has rights. I’m sad to report that even today in 2008 we have raccoons eating garbage on the streets who could have been on a starlet’s arm strolling down the red carpet. This inhumanity toward nonhuman animals must end.

[ Edited: 03 November 2008 04:04 AM by sate ]
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Posted: 04 November 2008 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 262 ]
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VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 04:15 PM

I would say that pork chops are a very old tradition too.What’s the numbers on them?Are they also a dying tradition?

The number of vegetarians is on the rise.

How many adults are vegetarian? The Vegetarian Resource Group asked in a 2006 national poll:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDE/is_4_25/ai_n16834301

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 04:15 PM

How are your cats adjusting to the all vegetable diet you’ve imposed on them?

It is possible to feed cats a vegetarian diet: http://www.vegsoc.org/info/catfood.html
I feed my cats regular cat food. Cat food is made from slaughterhouse by-products.  As long as humans eat meat there will be slaughterhouse by-products.  When people become enlightened and stop eating animals, they will also stop breeding them for pets.

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Posted: 04 November 2008 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 263 ]
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I will only touch on a few points because most if what VYAZMA wrote makes no sense.  Furthermore, VYAZMA has no idea what the pro-vegeterianism arguments are, yet he/she tries to refute them.

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 05:13 PM

This is symbiosis. Evolutionary symbiosis. The fact that we have reason,and an ability for multi-tiered thinking is part of the evolutionary process that allowed us to use these animals.

What does evolution (whatever kind) have to do with morality?

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 05:13 PM

Now, some may say, NO, that’s not symbiosis because it is not mutually beneficial. Well who’s to say that?How do we know that animals once domesticated,aren’t “happy"in their roles.They are cared for,fed,and protected from other predators.

Happy?  They live in concentration camps in cages where they cannot even turn around.  After they suffer there, they are killed. 
Have you even seen a factory farm or a slaughterhouse?

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 05:13 PM

A humanist must first know the definition of a human.Period!

And what is that? And how does that relate to the discussion of vegetarianism and animal rights?

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 05:13 PM

While you’re telling them meat is evil,you can close your argument by convincing them that there is no god.Yes that all ties in together real nice.

Do you see a contradiction?  I don’t.

VYAZMA - 02 November 2008 05:13 PM

To be a humanist,one must first know the origins of humanity.Then a humanist can look forward and see where the humans are going.

Are you saying that we should behave like our distant ancestors and never progress morally?

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Posted: 04 November 2008 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 264 ]
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sate - 03 November 2008 03:19 AM

Doctrine of Deliciousness

Sate, 
If you are not interested in this discussion, then why don’t you just leave?  You are not even funny.
Either refute one of the presented arguments or remain silent.

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Posted: 04 November 2008 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 265 ]
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ZZZZ-SNORE-ZZZZ

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Posted: 04 November 2008 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 266 ]
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It is possible to feed cats a vegetarian diet: http://www.vegsoc.org/info/catfood.html

It is possible, but it’s not healthy. The cat’s metabolism is geared towards eating small prey such as mice. A number of health problems in cats are directly attributable to diets high in carbohydrates. Glutins are the worst components of the artificial feline diet.

As to your point about eliminating animals as pets, that’s a matter of personal taste. I love my animals, and they’re happy with me, and if you don’t like that, it’s just too bad for you.

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Posted: 05 November 2008 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 267 ]
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BaIB,

We did it! Prop 2 passes in California.

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Posted: 05 November 2008 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 268 ]
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We did it! Prop 2 passes in California.

I’m very pleased by this news. It’s a small consolation after the success of Prop 8.

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Posted: 09 November 2008 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 269 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 05 November 2008 05:32 AM

BaIB,

We did it! Prop 2 passes in California.


And a ban on greyhound racing in MA.

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Posted: 09 November 2008 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 270 ]
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Chris Crawford - 04 November 2008 11:05 PM

As to your point about eliminating animals as pets, that’s a matter of personal taste. I love my animals, and they’re happy with me, and if you don’t like that, it’s just too bad for you.


It is not a matter of personal choice because it affects someone other than you, namely animals.  How can you tell that “your” animals are happy?  What kind of animals are they?  What kind of life do they have?

No one can be happy and fulfilled unless one has a right to self determination.  Animals used as pets have no choices about their lives.  They are treated as property.  This cannot be morally justified.

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