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Old February 7th, 2013 (07:10 PM). Edited February 7th, 2013 by twocows.
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
@twocows, there are arguments that go beyond animals merely being emotional attachments of people. There are some intelligent species of animal out there, possibly who feel emotions and are self-aware.
Then I'm fine with offering those species more protections, so long as they're also beholden to a basic moral code themselves. For instance, the "dolphin rape pods" (Google it) that have taken humans for that purpose should be hunted down just like a human rapist would be.

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It makes the idea of "human" seem more of a spectrum than a disparate identity. There are clearly more intelligent and less intelligent humans so we accept variations in intelligence are not enough to keep someone from being "human" (or in other words, of having rights and protections).
The easiest and most reasonable way to define what is human (or any species, really) would be through genetics. The total variation in human genetics is not really that much, if I remember my science correctly. If one member of a species is "intelligent" (or whatever standard you want to use to define the scope of morality), then all members should be considered "capable of intelligence" and thus informed of and held to some reasonable moral standard.

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I'll just cut to the point I'm trying to make, which is that many of the things we as humans have which make us human and deserving of rights can be found in animals (or to flip the idea around, there are people who are not too dissimilar to animals) so perhaps we should think more about how we define out ethics.
If you can prove a species is capable of some degree of moral understanding, then yes, I'm fine with treating them the same as we treat ourselves, provided they're also held to a reasonable moral standard as I said above.

Quote originally posted by .EJ:
@twocows: to go along with what Scarf is saying, there have been experiments conducted to prove whether or not intelligent animals such as chimpanzees and dolphins are self-aware and the studies seem to say yes, there does seem to be a level of self-awareness and higher cognition in these animals present.
I haven't seen these studies, but I'm not going to belabor that point since I addressed the implications above.

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I agree that animals are not humans but I also don't agree with just letting them die "cuz it's fine". No, it's not. All you have to do is take a simple Biology class to understand the actual ecology and how human beings threaten it.
Like I said originally, protecting our own interests is an important endeavor. This means, among other things, not disrupting the environmental status quo more than necessary.


Quote originally posted by Pinkie-Dawn:
Funny you should say that, because here is what Person A said about the moral issue:

"To answer, morals are basically rules that we create in our head so that we don't go around killing people, Which is our original animalistic behaviour (At least, that's what I think)."
With you so far.

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"Morality can be different for each person; It's not the same for everybody;
While some moral philosophers might agree on that point, I am not one of them. While some of the more minor rules might vary by society, the basic principles of right and wrong are universal.

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Neither does it fall into the hands of a deity because the deity could say that rape and murder could be considered as 'good'."
Agreed.

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"Although, you have to ask, what's stopping me from doing what people consider to be "bad" or "good"?"
Other people, presumably. This seems non sequitur and I'm not sure how it ties into anything else that's been said.

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"I don't believe in morality tbh."

"Plus, I'm a nihilist, so, there's really no point."
Good for him/her. Morality is socially defined, that doesn't mean it "doesn't exist." You can choose not to believe in the air you breathe, that doesn't mean it's not there. Right and wrong do exist.

And nihilists are intellectual pariahs for a reason (or rather, there's a reason why most of them are young or stupid or both). The "point" is that happiness matters to most of us, even if you're unable to appreciate it yourself. You might not have any self-interest, but others do, and the axiom "there's no point in harming others" breaks pretty fast when there actually is a point (that being to serve one's own self-interest).

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And here's what Person B says:

"Indeed... though the chances of US thinking that are somewhat unlikely; at least, in my case, black and grey morality."

"Ok, take black and white morality for example. The notion that everything is either good or bad. In black and grey, this is the notion that things are bad, and the good aren't necessarily good either; so, for example, true evil acts, with the 'good' guys being *******s to boot."

In short, saving the environment may not be considered good nor evil.
I'm not sure how that really relates to the issue at hand. Of course there are things that are going to have multiple implications, of course you're going to have people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons or whatever variation on that theme you want. I don't think it's relevant here, though.

I think environmentalism isn't really a matter of morality, at least not from the typical "save the planet" drivel you hear most people spout. Like I said earlier, it's a matter of self-preservation and, potentially, self-perfection. It's "right" to protect the environment because, even if we don't see the consequences today, at some point down the line our descendants will. And that much is black and white: either we take steps to preserve our interests as a species down the line, or we don't. There aren't really any other moral implications to it that I can think of.
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