Animal rights - for or against? Discuss. Watch

dan
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#21
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#21
I think animals should get the right to vote.
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Bateman
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#22
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#22
(Original post by helraizer)
Yeah. I agree. I'm not really for, nor against animal rights. I don't really think about it too much. I'm all for those human-hybrid embryos because they could help people, also they could bring up some pretty cool results. A human with hooves or something.

It just seems weird how some people fight to condemn those who murder, however those who hunt or kill animals for either sport or just 'cause they can, are allowed to live normal lives. Seems a little odd.

i don't agree with your last statement, if we act in a cruel manner with animals then we should be punished but we shouldn't get the "an eye for an eye.." treatment
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jgupta
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#23
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(Original post by NeverMindThat)
While i agree with the logic, having done a masters on human rights I find my conclusion is different;

Rather than extend rights to animals, we should retract them from humans. Prohibitory laws are far better theoretically justifiable.
I *think* that I agree with you.
In my post, I was trying to be neutral on the issue of human right simply because I did not want to get dragged into it after a few beers at 1.00 on a Saturday night!
To be honest, the issue is not something which I have explored fully, so you will know more about it than me. I have read of Thomas Paine and done some basic research on it but...

So, just to clarify my point (which you say you agree with): There is no reason to extend rights to humans but not to animals (albeit not the same / equal ones).

BUT I am not necessarily in favour of human rights...I'm ashamed to be a temporary fence-sitter on this issue pending further research & contemplation If you could recommend me any good books ( have already read Hitchens' biography on Paine) I'd appreciate it
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NeverMindThat
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#24
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(Original post by jgupta)
Why should we care whether...anything...feels pain?

I think the point you make is a valid one, but it is actually a much more fundamental question to morality - almost all moral theories fall for the so called 'naturalistic fallacy' - assuming that just because something IS so, it OUGHT to be so.

Taking utilitarianism as an example, it says that we avoid pain, and therefore pain is bad.
Technically, yes, this is a fallacy - but perhaps with morality we are going to have to take some things for granted if we are to make any progress in it.
With humans you can draw a line simply by saying; humans are different from animals and should be treated differently by me because "I am human". Pretty simple really.
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20083
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#25
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#25
(Original post by generalebriety)
What the hell are animal rights? It's a dumb buzzword. Animals have the right not to be tortured, but don't have the right to drive a car. What specifically are you asking?
This says it all really, I'm too tired to read any more, but this post should have ended the thread!
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jgupta
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#26
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(Original post by NeverMindThat)
With humans you can draw a line simply by saying; humans are different from animals and should be treated differently by me because "I am human". Pretty simple really.
I find that pretty hard to accept. Firstly, take the idea of personhood. When you say 'I am human', are you using the word human to imply a heightened sense of awareness, sense of self, sensitivity to pain, rational capability etc etc, or simply saying 'this is my species therefore I should care about it more than any other'

Because if it is the latter, then a whole load of other lines need to be drawn - black people are, whilst not a different species, a different branch of our species (My phraseology here is probably bad by scientific terms..'branch'...) so would I (an asian person) be justified in prioritising a 'fellow asian' above a black or white person?
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NeverMindThat
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#27
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#27
(Original post by NeverMindThat)
Why should we care whether animals feel pain?

Thats really the most interesting question.

And dont just say "empathy" because that is a mechanism for reason, not a reason in itself (and it implies if noone felt empathy for animals, torturing them would be fine)

I just got a neg rep for this saying "honestly people like you dont deserve to live".

I dont deserve to live because I pointed out a question of philosophical interest.

Either the person who left this is too stupid to understand the point or too ignorant too care.

Either way, they were too cowardly to sign the comment.
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NeverMindThat
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#28
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#28
(Original post by jgupta)
I find that pretty hard to accept. Firstly, take the idea of personhood. When you say 'I am human', are you using the word human to imply a heightened sense of awareness, sense of self, sensitivity to pain, rational capability etc etc, or simply saying 'this is my species therefore I should care about it more than any other'

Because if it is the latter, then a whole load of other lines need to be drawn - black people are, whilst not a different species, a different branch of our species (My phraseology here is probably bad by scientific terms..'branch'...) so would I (an asian person) be justified in prioritising a 'fellow asian' above a black or white person?
I am simply saying "this is my species therefore I DO care about it more than any other (lets not bring 'should' into it). Its a simple evolutionary trait. And yes, all of those other lines can be drawn, are drawn in practice and in fact explain a lot about the evolution of society.

Personally I dont believe in natural law or objective morality and 'care' based primarily on pragmatism and for selfish reasons.
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Hedger
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#29
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#29
(Original post by SillyFencer)
This says it all really, I'm too tired to read any more, but this post should have ended the thread!
You'd think so.
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Tut.exe
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#30
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#30
what like the right to live? then wouldnt it be a murder if they get killed? lmao!
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helraizer
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#31
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#31
(Original post by NeverMindThat)
I am simply saying "this is my species therefore I DO care about it more than any other (lets not bring 'should' into it). Its a simple evolutionary trait. And yes, all of those other lines can be drawn, are drawn in practice and in fact explain a lot about the evolution of society.

Personally I dont believe in natural law or objective morality and 'care' based primarily on pragmatism and for selfish reasons.

You said about the empathy thing. You personally feel pain, and you know that if you even stub your toe it hurts like a b****; you know that if you got hit with a sledge hammer it'd do some serious damage to you. So if a person hits a dog with a 14lb sledge hammer (which one woman did, to get the dog to obey) under your logic, because it's a dog and not a human then "pfft.. who cares how much damage it does". How do you justify that?
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jgupta
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#32
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(Original post by NeverMindThat)
I am simply saying "this is my species therefore I DO care about it more than any other (lets not bring 'should' into it). Its a simple evolutionary trait. And yes, all of those other lines can be drawn, are drawn in practice and in fact explain a lot about the evolution of society.

Personally I dont believe in natural law or objective morality and 'care' based primarily on pragmatism and for selfish reasons.
I am with you on Natural Law in the sense that I don't believe that by doing something wrong, I am somehow going against a pre-existing law / any of that metaphysical stuff.
And I am a consequentialist, I would describe myself roughly as a Utilitarian.
I agree that the lines I mentioned explain a lot about societal evolution, but don't see what this has to do with morality.

Correct me if i've misinterpreted you, but by identifying an evolutionary trait and then basing morality on it...are you not creating a secular version of Natural Law?
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NeverMindThat
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#33
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#33
(Original post by Tut.exe)
what like the right to live? then wouldnt it be a murder if they get killed? lmao!
No, law doesnt work like that. Itd be a crime, but not murder.
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NeverMindThat
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#34
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(Original post by jgupta)
I am with you on Natural Law in the sense that I don't believe that by doing something wrong, I am somehow going against a pre-existing law / any of that metaphysical stuff.
And I am a consequentialist, I would describe myself roughly as a Utilitarian.
I agree that the lines I mentioned explain a lot about societal evolution, but don't see what this has to do with morality.

Correct me if i've misinterpreted you, but by identifying an evolutionary trait and then basing morality on it...are you not creating a secular version of Natural Law?

You misunderstood me, I was explaining peoples moral pugnation, not justifying it. I dont believe in morality except as an explanation for a wide range of other influences; that is to say I DO believe in morals, but dont think they are some solid, objectively true concept but rather subjective behavioural norms that result from a wide range of social and biological influences.
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GemmyMonster
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#35
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Hmm, to whoever said they shouldn't have rights as they can't defend them - really curious of your views on babies. Because they can't defend them either. Nor can some severely disabled people. So clearly, they don't have rights..?

I think we should try to inflict as little pain as possible, stop them being in pain when we can - for moral reasons. I do think people that purposefully cause animals suffering should have the same done unto themself. I've read stuff about relationships between how people treat animals and how they treat humans - ie some serial killers were abusive towards animals as children.

Aha, here's some info on the study (not best website but 1st 1 google gave me): Info


If people can't even show pity for something unable to defend itself - how will they for something that is able to?


On a personal level, I actually think a lot of animals are better than humans. And no, I'm not a veggie. And no, I'm not even against animal testing (when for medical purposes). I just don't see why people need to cause unneccessary harm towards animals.
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NeverMindThat
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(Original post by GemmyMonster)
Hmm, to whoever said they shouldn't have rights as they can't defend them - really curious of your views on babies. Because they can't defend them either. Nor can some severely disabled people. So clearly, they don't have rights..?

I think we should try to inflict as little pain as possible, stop them being in pain when we can - for moral reasons. I do think people that purposefully cause animals suffering should have the same done unto themself. I've read stuff about relationships between how people treat animals and how they treat humans - ie some serial killers were abusive towards animals as children.

Aha, here's some info on the study (not best website but 1st 1 google gave me): Info


If people can't even show pity for something unable to defend itself - how will they for something that is able to?


On a personal level, I actually think a lot of animals are better than humans. And no, I'm not a veggie. And no, I'm not even against animal testing (when for medical purposes). I just don't see why people need to cause unneccessary harm towards animals.
I assume you mean me. I didnt say they dont have rights as they cant defend them, I said that we could give them rights, but its pointless as they dont respect them, cant enforce them, wouldnt recognise them and are better protected by prohibitory laws. I wasnt making a philosophical point.

And actually, as it happens, I dont believe in foetal rights :P
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jgupta
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#37
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#37
(Original post by NeverMindThat)
You misunderstood me, I was explaining peoples moral pugnation, not justifying it. I dont believe in morality except as an explanation for a wide range of other influences; that is to say I DO believe in morals, but dont think they are some solid, objectively true concept but rather subjective behavioural norms that result from a wide range of social and biological influences.
Ah okay - well in that case I don't think you'll get much argument out of me.

I am not an absolutist, but believe that something IS either right or wrong - although this must be assessed situationally and there is no such thing as "moral bedrock": actions which absolutely should not be done regardless of the circumstances.

There *are* possible circumstances where it would be right to do otherwise abhorrent, repulsive acts (I won't detail them here - you can all imagine).

And yes, as an explanation it works. People have, historically, favoured not only their own species but also their own race, gender etc.

I don't know whether you read one of my other posts, but given you have a masters etc could you recommend me a good book on human rights? I've read books on Thomas Paine etc but it is a subject that I am interested in, just haven't really read that much about it.

It seems like a good idea at first, but as I look into it more I seem more put off by it. You will find few people who disagree that it is wrong to torture people, but to conclude that all people have an inherent right not to be tortured seems strangely absolutist - what would a human rights activist (insofar as he is so) say in the scenario where a terrorist knows the code to diffuse a nuclear bomb, and the only way to get it out of him is via torture?
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NeverMindThat
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#38
jgupta it isnt even that point that I was making, I was criticising HRs on a structural view (they make no internal sense) rather than for practical reasons. For example rather than a right to not be tortured, there should be a prohibition on torturing. It might seem like a semantic point but it isnt.
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GemmyMonster
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#39
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(Original post by NeverMindThat)
I assume you mean me. I didnt say they dont have rights as they cant defend them, I said that we could give them rights, but its pointless as they dont respect them, cant enforce them, wouldnt recognise them and are better protected by prohibitory laws. I wasnt making a philosophical point.

And actually, as it happens, I dont believe in foetal rights :P

I didn't say foetal - I said babies. Hell, even toddlers. I've never met a toddler who tries to enforce or even respects or recognises human rights. A 2 year old doesn't really even understand right or wrong (which is entirely subjective, logically - but so are rights). How about people who're loopy (it's 2am, can't think of a more "correct" word :p: ) - they often aren't aware of any side of reality. Maybe they should be subjected to painful medical experiments, as they cannot enforce their rights? :rolleyes:

Of course if you believe that then fine, but I just think many of the ways people justify treatment of animals are stupid.

I personally go with the lack of need to justify my own morality to other people. Also covers if I ever decide to go on a murder spree - it'll just conveniently not be against my morals
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NeverMindThat
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#40
(Original post by GemmyMonster)
I didn't say foetal - I said babies. Hell, even toddlers. I've never met a toddler who tries to enforce or even respects or recognises human rights. A 2 year old doesn't really even understand right or wrong (which is entirely subjective, logically - but so are rights). How about people who're loopy (it's 2am, can't think of a more "correct" word :p: ) - they often aren't aware of any side of reality. Maybe they should be subjected to painful medical experiments, as they cannot enforce their rights? :rolleyes:

Of course if you believe that then fine, but I just think many of the ways people justify treatment of animals are stupid.

I personally go with the lack of need to justify my own morality to other people. Also covers if I ever decide to go on a murder spree - it'll just conveniently not be against my morals
Way to miss my point.
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