Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pro Crastination)
    Point a: As we are not those particular animals ourselves we will never 100% be able to prove they have the a capacity to suffer, that being said it would seem highly likely that they do. Secondly, would it not be morally sensible to assume they can, risking being wrong and little else, or assume they cannot, being wrong, and inflicting incalculable suffering?
    I strongly, strongly disagree that it seems highly likely, or even that it seems more likely than not (it is difficult enough to establish that other humans have feelings). With that said, I don't feel we should inflict pain on animals where absolutely no benefit to humanity is gained - however, in the vast majority of cases where humans harm animals, a significant benefit is gained (eating meat, testing drugs etc).

    Point b: That is speciesist. Hundreds of years ago white people would have said stuff exactly like that about about black people etc. 'They are not like us, hence they are due no consideration as I don't find them particularly important to my interests.'
    Nothing at all like it. The reasoning then was a complete lack of both moral thought outside the confines of religious diktat as well as lack of biological understanding.

    Point c: What does it matter that they can or cannot morally reason? People in comas can't morally reason as far as we know, that doesn't mean they are instantly without rights.
    People in comas have the potential to morally reason in the future. Are the dead worthy of moral consideration? Of course not!
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by similarBlank)
    ^ This epitomises human arrogance right there.

    In my opinion, (something you forgot to say before you said what you said) animal suffering matters, arrogant humans' suffering doesn't.
    First, don't be one of those jackasses who snootily remarks 'well that's your opinion' (well no **** Sherlock), it's completely unnecessary to preface things which are obviously your opinion with the phrase 'in my opinion'.

    Second, why do you think animal suffering matters?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Pro Crastination)
    Why would killing Hitler if you already have him captured and imprisoned increase overall happiness?
    Frees up space for another criminal, can't get out of it by playing a politic card either, 'cause he's dead.

    A better question since I'm doing the Devil's Advocate thing: Why would killing Hitler if you already have him captured and imprisoned decrease overall happiness?

    (Original post by Underscore__)
    But they aren't permanently deprived of those possessions, if they're a thief it's likely they don't actually own some of those 'possessions', there is no dishonesty involved, nor is there any appropriation. Don't argue laws you don't understand.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    A kidnapper doesn't necessarily permanently deprive their victim of freedom. Would you like to be kidnapped?

    Please avoid using internet argument catchphrases and tactics such as 'clearly you don't understand' to someone saying something different to you. By that logic anyway there is equal chance you don't understand and I do (even though no one on the internet is ever wrong themselves).
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    First, don't be one of those jackasses who snootily remarks 'well that's your opinion' (well no **** Sherlock), it's completely unnecessary to preface things which are obviously your opinion with the phrase 'in my opinion'.

    Second, why do you think animal suffering matters?
    Because humans are animals. We are all conscious, living beings. The only reason I consider all animal suffering to matter and not so much human suffering is because A LOT of humans are arrogant pricks, basically. Just the fact that some humans seriously suggest that human suffering matters and animal suffering doesn't is exactly what I'm on about.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by similarBlank)
    Because humans are animals. We are all conscious, living beings. The only reason I consider all animal suffering to matter and not so much human suffering is because A LOT of humans are arrogant pricks, basically. Just the fact that some humans seriously suggest that human suffering matters and animal suffering doesn't is exactly what I'm on about.
    Why does animal suffering matter?


    Edit: also, the same logic holds that plants are morally important because all humans are alive.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Soon the death penalty will become imperative. The main reason behind this, is the huge surge in global population. Derived from this, the death penalty will be even encouraged, and not float around as a moral debate anymore. Combine this statement with the emerging Neoliberal model, this type of penalty will come into full play.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Why does animal suffering matter?


    Edit: also, the same logic holds that plants are morally important because all humans are alive.
    The same reason any suffering matters and plants aren't conscious.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by similarBlank)
    The same reason any suffering matters and plants aren't conscious.
    We can only start from the presumption that suffering doesn't matter: it must be shown why a being's suffering matters.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by similarBlank)
    Because humans are animals. Humans keep themselves seperate from animals, don't consider themselves to be them, because they feel safe that way. They want it be superior. But we are all conscious, living beings. The only reason I consider all animal suffering to matter and not so much human suffering is because A LOT of humans are arrogant pricks, basically. Just the fact that some humans seriously suggest that human suffering matters and animal suffering doesn't is exactly what I'm on about.
    The capacity for an animal to feel pain or suffering is pretty much minimal.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    We can only start from the presumption that suffering doesn't matter: it must be shown why a being's suffering matters.
    In that case no being's suffering matters.

    I don't know why any being's suffering matters, no one does. As a human, I obviously consider my suffering to matter and thus decide, from that, to consider all being's suffering to matter.

    I don't consider the death penalty to be suffering though, when done efficiently and properly like it should. (Though don't think it is at the moment in America.)

    If what you originally said was your opinion, though, then fair enough, I just have a different opinion and just started disputing what you said merely because you said it as though it was a fact and thus I was misleaded.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by glebp)
    The capacity for an animal to feel pain or suffering is pretty much minimal.
    Where do you get that from?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    People are falsely accused of murder and often corrupt courts with juries selected to disadvantage the accused are used for death penalty trials. Even in reliable justice system mistakes can still occasionally be made, in the case of the deal penalty this would result in the execution of an innocent. In many countries/states the public enjoy the thrill and instant 'justice' of execution and hence the state endorses it to maintain their support (there is often a racial element to this sick enjoyment).

    Most importantly, it does not work. Countries which use the death penalty continue to have the highest murder rates.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    We can only start from the presumption that suffering doesn't matter: it must be shown why a being's suffering matters.
    I would suffer if my dog was suffering, but I would not suffer if your were suffering because I don't know you, don't care about you and as a consequence, my dog is more important. If it came down to choosing whose life to save, I would save my dog.

    I've brought up my dog since he was born and have had him for 10 years. I know he would suffer if we were split apart.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    I strongly, strongly disagree that it seems highly likely, or even that it seems more likely than not (it is difficult enough to establish that other humans have feelings).
    Strictly speaking it's difficult enough, if not impossible, to demonstrate the existence of the external world, or that the universe was not created 5 minutes ago with an appearance of age. And as you said, we cannot know whether or not other humans have consciousness, feelings - they could be p-zombies. But no one seriously believes in metaphysical solipsism. In the absence of any compelling defeators, it's perfectly rational to have "basic beliefs" like believing in the reality of an external world, other minds, and yes, even the idea that animals have the capacity to suffer akin to humans. If the sensation of pain which typically gives rise to suffering is correlated to some physical properties of our brains, then it does seem highly likely that similar functions and "brain-states" in other beings would induce suffering familiar to us. There is plenty of evidence of animal pain and suffering, basically all the same evidence there is of human pain and suffering, minus first-person verbal testimony. The argument that conscious awareness and sentience is an emergent function exclusive to humans, and that non-human life forms are mere automata, is not very compelling at all.

    With that said, I don't feel we should inflict pain on animals where absolutely no benefit to humanity is gained - however, in the vast majority of cases where humans harm animals, a significant benefit is gained (eating meat, testing drugs etc).
    Sure, most animal rights advocates would agree that harming animals may be justified in cases where humans would gain significant benefit. Not many animal rights supporters or animal welfarists think that animals are as important as humans, just that they're sufficiently important to merit protection. Non-human animals don't have to be as morally important as humans for them to nonetheless be morally important.

    Nothing at all like it. The reasoning then was a complete lack of both moral thought outside the confines of religious diktat as well as lack of biological understanding.
    Red-herring. Whether or not the racists lacked biological understanding is irrelevant. The person you quoted isn't claiming the racists were justified, he's simply taking your argument to its logical conclusion and showing how a racist would've employed similar reasoning to discriminate on the basis of perceived differences between white and black people.

    People in comas have the potential to morally reason in the future. Are the dead worthy of moral consideration? Of course not!
    Sentient beings don't have to be moral agents to be moral patients. This is by far your weakest argument.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    I'm for the death penalty in certain cases. I feel like one of the main reasons why people are against it is because of the chance an innocent life could be taken, for example Troy Davis, and that is rightly so. Taking an innocent life shouldn't happen, and that is why death should only be on the table for cases that are beyond doubt. I feel like for serial killers, certain rapists, and other 'high end' criminals, it should definitely be an option.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BlackHorseRoad)
    I would suffer if my dog was suffering, but I would not suffer if your were suffering because I don't know you, don't care about you and as a consequence, my dog is more important. If it came down to choosing whose life to save, I would save my dog.

    I've brought up my dog since he was born and have had him for 10 years. I know he would suffer if we were split apart.
    Yes, and the suffering of your dog matters because it causes human suffering.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Yes, and the suffering of your dog matters because it causes human suffering.
    So animal sufering is equally as important. They go hand in hand.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    So animal sufering is equally as important. They go hand in hand.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    That obviously doesn't follow from what I said. Dima-Blackburn has posted a really interesting, compelling argument which I'm typing out a response to now, don't take from this that I'm avoiding the difficult points.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
    Strictly speaking it's difficult enough, if not impossible, to demonstrate the existence of the external world, or that the universe was not created 5 minutes ago with an appearance of age. And as you said, we cannot know whether or not other humans have consciousness, feelings - they could be p-zombies. But no one seriously believes in metaphysical solipsism. In the absence of any compelling defeators, it's perfectly rational to have "basic beliefs" like believing in the reality of an external world, other minds, and yes, even the idea that animals have the capacity to suffer akin to humans. If the sensation of pain which typically gives rise to suffering is correlated to some physical properties of our brains, then it does seem highly likely that similar functions and "brain-states" in other beings would induce suffering familiar to us. There is plenty of evidence of animal pain and suffering, basically all the same evidence there is of human pain and suffering, minus first-person verbal testimony. The argument that conscious awareness and sentience is an emergent function exclusive to humans, and that non-human life forms are mere automata, is not very compelling at all.
    I disagree. I think the notion of sentience in the sense of responding non-automatically to various stimuli and having feeling is so non-intuitive that it's really alarming that humans are sentient in the first place, and absent compelling evidence to the contrary, one should be content to treat it as anomalous. Of course, I accept that it's somewhat likely that I am wrong on this point, but I suspect where we differ is our axioms rather than anything else.

    Sure, most animal rights advocates would agree that harming animals may be justified in cases where humans would gain significant benefit. Not many animal rights supporters or animal welfarists think that animals are as important as humans, just that they're sufficiently important to merit protection. Non-human animals don't have to be as morally important as humans for them to nonetheless be morally important.
    I don't see how one can coherently afford a species non-absolute moral importance. Some factor or other must lend itself to moral importance, and most factors which are commonly posited are binary - it follows that moral importance must also be binary. For this reason, I feel that one cannot really defend animal rights without either being a vegan or a hypocrite.

    Red-herring. Whether or not the racists lacked biological understanding is irrelevant. The person you quoted isn't claiming the racists were justified, he's simply taking your argument to its logical conclusion and showing how a racist would've employed similar reasoning to discriminate on the basis of perceived differences between white and black people.
    I disagree. The other person was simply constructing a strawman. That is not the logical conclusion of the argument, since various races of humans are not biologically different in any relevant sense.

    Sentient beings don't have to be moral agents to be moral patients. This is by far your weakest argument.
    I agree it's my weakest argument, and one I personally reject. However, some treat morality as a tit-for-tat construct consequential on some kind of social contract, rather than what I suggest is the correct approach of treating it as binding per se on all rational beings, so I thought I'd throw that in there to pre-empt that argument.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Drummerz)
    It certainly isn't, but if I kill 100 people for example, I have unjustly and unfairly deprived them of their right to live. Why is it then just and fair for me to continue to live?
    People kill 1000 of animals in their lives.. They have unfairly deprived them of their right to live. So why is it fair for anyone to continue living by your logic.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
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.