Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    they ought to, yes
    but we all know they don't, so what was the purpose of your comment? it seemed like you were expressing doubt at somebody caring for animal rights. 'you can't really think animals are more important or you'd spend all your efforts helping them'. it's a completely vacuous point, if indeed what you intended
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    but we all know they don't, so what was the purpose of your comment? it seemed like you were expressing doubt at somebody caring for animal rights. 'you can't really think animals are more important or you'd spend all your efforts helping them'. it's a completely vacuous point, if indeed what you intended
    It just seemed an absurd point of view to me.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    It just seemed an absurd point of view to me.
    why? i find it absurd that we all magically ascribe a greater import to the suffering of one particular (arbitrary) category of animals. certainly we might be able to say that one particular animal (or type thereof) suffers less from the same stimulus than another, but that isn't to say the suffering of one possesses less intrinsic value. i find it even more ridiculous that some people (yourself seemingly included) ascribe a value of zero to the importance of other animals' suffering. as outlined in a previous post, you don't seem to have provided sensible justification for this position.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    why? i find it absurd that we all magically ascribe a greater import to the suffering of one particular (arbitrary) category of animals. certainly we might be able to say that one particular animal (or type thereof) suffers less from the same stimulus than another, but that isn't to say the suffering of one possesses less intrinsic value. i find it even more ridiculous that some people (yourself seemingly included) ascribe a value of zero to the importance of other animals' suffering. as outlined in a previous post, you don't seem to have provided sensible justification for this position.
    the base presumption is that no suffering matters. Show that the suffering of a dog matters.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It depends, research needs to be done on whether it sufficiently de-incentivises people doing crime(not so if looking at USA). Do people (victims) feel justifiably 'better off' overall by it.............We must Think about the costs of keeping people in prison for life and many more issues, which is why it is a divisive issue. Pro life people say "could you for one minute consider the people who are innocent are sentenced to death", and that is a valid point.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    the base presumption is that no suffering matters. Show that the suffering of a dog matters.
    but you already said that you take it as axiomatic that the suffering of some people matters, no? as previously demonstrated, the same argument you used to 'prove' that human suffering matters also 'proves' that animal suffering matters. in fact, it does the same for any kind of suffering in the absence of a 'rational distinction' between sufferers. i can't begin to imagine how such a distinction might be described.

    perhaps i can show you that the suffering of a dog 'matters'. but perhaps first you can provide a rigorous definition of precisely what it means for suffering to 'matter'?
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    but you already said that you take it as axiomatic that the suffering of some people matters, no? as previously demonstrated, the same argument you used to 'prove' that human suffering matters also 'proves' that animal suffering matters. in fact, it does the same for any kind of suffering in the absence of a 'rational distinction' between sufferers. i can't begin to imagine how such a distinction might be described.

    perhaps i can show you that the suffering of a dog 'matters'. but perhaps first you can provide a rigorous definition of precisely what it means for suffering to 'matter'?
    there are two rational distinctions:

    1) there is only tenuous, at best, evidence that non-human animals are capable of suffering
    2) the continued life of an animal can offer very little constructive
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    there are two rational distinctions:

    1) there is only tenuous, at best, evidence that non-human animals are capable of suffering
    Lol. Source?


    2) the continued life of an animal can offer very little constructive
    Why does that mean their suffering doesn't matter? Does not follow.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    Lol. Source?
    We do not know that there is a consistent link between neurology and feeling across species.

    Why does that mean their suffering doesn't matter? Does not follow.
    The presumption is that their suffering doesn't matter. This is a distinction from humans.

    Furthermore, animals do not have the capability of considering others on a moral standpoint themselves.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Death penalty and torture should be allowed for only the very extreme cases e.g. terrorists
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    Well yes, but surely there is a limit somewhere. If someone did something suitably horrific they would surely be disowned. I notice you left out my point that countered the familial distress claim. But when making a point, one would, naturally.
    Well being as I'm not a parent I don't really know. I wouldn't really propose this as a reason not have the death penalty, I imagine most people's family would be quite upset about someone going to prison for a while.


    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    How do you know you can?
    I don't have to know you can. If it's possible then it's a better alternative to just killing people.

    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    Are there not killers so incurably psychopathic that they are beyond reform?
    If they're genuinely psychopathic then they should be housed in mental institutions.

    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    This just sounds like you're picking up on language now. There must be cases when there can be no other conclusion than 'this person is guilty'. For example, being caught in the act with a weapon in your hand...
    A few people know have said 'when someone is 100% guilty' or words to that effect. That would be impossible to prove, you could not create a situation whereby there's no possibility someone is innocent.

    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    That's why you'd have to really really make sure. Insurmountable evidence would be required, with plenty of forensics of course.
    So is 'insurmountable' higher than beyond reasonable doubt? I think people are tripping themselves over with the standard of proof.


    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    I never claimed to understand it. But surely the justice system and prisons exist to punish to a degree. Incarcerating people for years for their crimes is more in line with retribution than rehabilitation.
    I'd argue it's more about public safety.


    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. I believe that's what people say.
    That's really your response?

    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    Yes, it's ridiculous. That's why it was purely hypothetical...

    Democracy is an illusion, it's merely a veneer used to tell ourselves we're civilised. If the electricity goes off (as in permanently), it'll be chaos within days. You'll really see what people think of the sanctity of human life when they're fighting over the last tin of beans.

    Anyway, I never said it would be a civilised society or moral government that would use such schemes. Theoretically, a covert organisation of assassins could be formed using some of the millions that goes in to black ops, and you'd never know anything about it. Except perhaps the mysteriously increasing number of dead criminals...
    So you're free to make ridiculous hypothetical situations and then when challenged you can just say that it was hypothetical? That's nonsense.

    Well yes exactly, I think when suspected criminals started turning up dead someone would start digging.

    (Original post by LifeIsAnIllusion)
    Yes, I don't really know what I'm talking about in regards to law and government but I'm just speculating on possibilities. But... if a rogue regime came in to power, all sorts could happen. Hitler made all other political parties illegal if my history lessons serve me well.
    In a post this long it was only a matter of time until Hitler popped up. You're using hypothetical situations that are so unfeasible they're not even worth discussing.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Underscore__)
    I know what you mean. Full of people who have never studied a day of law in their lives arguing law with people who have training contracts at magic circle law firms
    Indeed, though I wouldn't put too much stock in qualifications as that doesn't compensate for logic or smarts, unless people are talking strictly about the facts anyway.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Indeed, though I wouldn't put too much stock in qualifications as that doesn't compensate for logic or smarts, unless people are talking strictly about the facts anyway.
    Don't forget the 'magic circle law types' who sold their souls and morals the minute they got their special piece of paper.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    We do not know that there is a consistent link between neurology and feeling across species.
    What do you mean by this? Have you ever looked at any of the literature on this? Your views are very much at odds with all of the science I've studied.


    The presumption is that their suffering doesn't matter. This is a distinction from humans.
    Now you're just begging the question. I'm asking why on earth you'd 'presume' that. It's absurd. You still haven't specified what you mean by suffering 'mattering', either!


    Furthermore, animals do not have the capability of considering others on a moral standpoint themselves.
    Probably true. Unfortunately it's not of the remotest relevance to the question I asked! Why would this mean that it's perfectly okay for them to suffer or be in pain?
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    What do you mean by this? Have you ever looked at any of the literature on this? Your views are very much at odds with all of the science I've studied.
    It's a question of philosophy, not science, once you get past the neurological side of things.

    Now you're just begging the question. I'm asking why on earth you'd 'presume' that. It's absurd. You still haven't specified what you mean by suffering 'mattering', either!
    I'm using 'matters' as shorthand for 'has moral importance', and I'm presuming that because in this sense, nothing matters until shown otherwise.

    Probably true. Unfortunately it's not of the remotest relevance to the question I asked! Why would this mean that it's perfectly okay for them to suffer or be in pain?
    Because something has to bring a being within the realm of moral consideration, and this is one possible thing which might be able to.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    It's a question of philosophy, not science, once you get past the neurological side of things.
    We can call it moral philosophy if we like, but it is wholly dependent on observable facts from psychology, sociology and neuroscience too. There is a lot of literature on the suffering of animals, and I can't see it as much more than naivety to dismiss it out of hand. There is good reason to think that animals can suffer, and so far you've provided exactly zero justification for your claim that they can't.


    I'm using 'matters' as shorthand for 'has moral importance', and I'm presuming that because in this sense, nothing matters until shown otherwise.
    I don't think this is necessarily a sensible position, but okay.

    As discussed, the argument you used to demonstrate the moral importance of human suffering works just as effectively for any other suffering. You've yet to present a coherent reason for the distinction you draw.


    Because something has to bring a being within the realm of moral consideration, and this is one possible thing which might be able to.
    Okay. But I maintain, a being's lack of capacity for moral thought does not mean that its suffering does not matter. At the very least it remains to be demonstrated that it does.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    We can call it moral philosophy if we like, but it is wholly dependent on observable facts from psychology, sociology and neuroscience too. There is a lot of literature on the suffering of animals, and I can't see it as much more than naivety to dismiss it out of hand. There is good reason to think that animals can suffer, and so far you've provided exactly zero justification for your claim that they can't.
    What evidence do we have that the observations we have correlate to their experiencing something which can be called suffering? None whatsoever, nor can we possibly find such evidence, since it requires observation from the perspective of the animal. Similarity to humans isn't enough.

    I don't think this is necessarily a sensible position, but okay.

    As discussed, the argument you used to demonstrate the moral importance of human suffering works just as effectively for any other suffering. You've yet to present a coherent reason for the distinction you draw.
    I have offered several coherent distinctions. You just set the bar of 'coherency' irrationally high based on your predispositions. Obviously I'm not undertaking the futile task of trying to conclusively prove anything; merely show where the balance of probabilities lies.

    Okay. But I maintain, a being's lack of capacity for moral thought does not mean that its suffering does not matter. At the very least it remains to be demonstrated that it does.
    What criteria do you use for the (logically prior to consideration of their suffering) question of what beings matter?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    What evidence do we have that the observations we have correlate to their experiencing something which can be called suffering? None whatsoever, nor can we possibly find such evidence, since it requires observation from the perspective of the animal. Similarity to humans isn't enough.
    Similar arguments can be used with humans, no? How do we confirm that what someone else experiences is indeed something which should be called suffering? The only difference is that the communication between humans is more sophisticated than that between humans and animals, which is of course an important difference. For example, I can say to you 'that makes me suffer'. But to do so with any meaning requires us both to have a pre-established notion of what it means to suffer, and we cannot confirm that what you feel when you say that you suffer and what I feel are the same. The fundamental problem remains.

    On a more intuitive level, do you legitimately believe, for example, that dogs cannot suffer? What about bonobos or chimpanzees?

    I think to thoroughly answer the question, we first need a rigorous definition of suffering. Then we can check explicitly how difficult it would be to search for suffering in other animals. Alternatively, if we concede that humans can indeed suffer, then we could potentially see whether animals behave in a similar fashion to humans when subject to the same stimulus. Certainly this is wouldn't form a conclusive proof, but it could be suggestive.


    I have offered several coherent distinctions. You just set the bar of 'coherency' irrationally high based on your predispositions. Obviously I'm not undertaking the futile task of trying to conclusively prove anything; merely show where the balance of probabilities lies.
    But I don't think you have done so at all.

    At the moment, we're having two separate discussions. First, whether animals can suffer. If they cannot, then the rest of the discussion is irrelevant and I'll concede that you are correct. But if they can, the second question is whether or not their suffering is of moral importance. By your own argument, you can show that animal suffering is of moral importance, unless we can find some difference between animals and humans that would somehow remove that importance.

    What such differences have you proposed? So far, that animals don't have the capacity for moral thought and that they cannot offer anything 'constructive'. The latter difference is entirely subjective, and hence I suspect hardly worth considering. Regardless, I don't see that you have explained how these differences should make a difference to the moral import of suffering at all. What premises did you start from and inferences did you draw to conclude so? I don't intend to set an unreasonably high burden of proof/justification, but I will demand something!


    What criteria do you use for the (logically prior to consideration of their suffering) question of what beings matter?
    Well, my position would be that suffering is something that should be avoided almost by definition. I see no reason to draw a discontinuous distinction between the suffering of one being and another. I don't have my worldview fully settled in this regard really, but a definition of suffering would probably be something very vaguely along the lines of a physical and/or mental state that is unwanted by the being experiencing it.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Implication)
    Similar arguments can be used with humans, no? How do we confirm that what someone else experiences is indeed something which should be called suffering? The only difference is that the communication between humans is more sophisticated than that between humans and animals, which is of course an important difference. For example, I can say to you 'that makes me suffer'. But to do so with any meaning requires us both to have a pre-established notion of what it means to suffer, and we cannot confirm that what you feel when you say that you suffer and what I feel are the same. The fundamental problem remains.

    On a more intuitive level, do you legitimately believe, for example, that dogs cannot suffer? What about bonobos or chimpanzees?

    I think to thoroughly answer the question, we first need a rigorous definition of suffering. Then we can check explicitly how difficult it would be to search for suffering in other animals. Alternatively, if we concede that humans can indeed suffer, then we could potentially see whether animals behave in a similar fashion to humans when subject to the same stimulus. Certainly this is wouldn't form a conclusive proof, but it could be suggestive.




    But I don't think you have done so at all.

    At the moment, we're having two separate discussions. First, whether animals can suffer. If they cannot, then the rest of the discussion is irrelevant and I'll concede that you are correct. But if they can, the second question is whether or not their suffering is of moral importance. By your own argument, you can show that animal suffering is of moral importance, unless we can find some difference between animals and humans that would somehow remove that importance.

    What such differences have you proposed? So far, that animals don't have the capacity for moral thought and that they cannot offer anything 'constructive'. The latter difference is entirely subjective, and hence I suspect hardly worth considering. Regardless, I don't see that you have explained how these differences should make a difference to the moral import of suffering at all. What premises did you start from and inferences did you draw to conclude so? I don't intend to set an unreasonably high burden of proof/justification, but I will demand something!




    Well, my position would be that suffering is something that should be avoided almost by definition. I see no reason to draw a discontinuous distinction between the suffering of one being and another. I don't have my worldview fully settled in this regard really, but a definition of suffering would probably be something very vaguely along the lines of a physical and/or mental state that is unwanted by the being experiencing it.
    Well, this is much more interesting all of a sudden, and I'm quoting this to remind myself to come back to it later.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Indeed, though I wouldn't put too much stock in qualifications as that doesn't compensate for logic or smarts, unless people are talking strictly about the facts anyway.
    You were debating the actus reus and mens rea of theft. That is something I would know having studied law.

    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    Don't forget the 'magic circle law types' who sold their souls and morals the minute they got their special piece of paper.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Morals don't buy Lamborghini's and holidays in the Caribbean.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.