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  #26    
Old May 12th, 2013, 02:57 PM
Shiny Celebi
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Can you justify why we have a duty to not let a given species go extinct? Extinction is a natural process which has occurred since the beginning of time, long before humans existed. Extinction is necessary for other species to emerge and thrive. Cost to protect one species could is money taken away from the betterment of human society, and therefore diminishes our quality of life, especially to those that are struggling for sustenance.

Animals don't understand pain and suffering? They certainly do. It's a physiological response that motivates them to do that which will aid in their survival, they actually understand pain better than we do in that most primitive sense. Pain, to them, is a necessary defense mechanism.

People should not be forced to eat meat, and I never implied so. People are eating less meat because of consumerism, it's cheaper to produce chemically-altered grain products than it is to supply plant and meat based products, though at a long-term price. Long-term, one is better served to eat meat and plant products than they are to eat grains, which have not fully integrated into our digestion evolution as has meat. Since health care costs for obesity (therefore heart disease and stroke), diabetes (therefore heart disease and stroke), celiac disease, alzheimers are linked to insulin sensitivity and consumption of gluten/grains, people should not be eating chemically processed grains (unless you are of certain Eastern Dissent and have evolved to digest certain non-processed grains). Thus, one does not need meat, simply it is affordable to those who exercise healthy eating of meat and plant based foods, and need a supplement to plants. If you can afford to eat only plant-based food, more power to you. Humans should not eat as they please, since their individual behavior affects all of society in health costs, and early loss of life (taxpayers made an investment in education, etc.) Doing that in which is against the betterment of human life is against our natural order, which is to maintain substance and improve quality of life of mankind.

Our actions and behaviors should not be motivated on mere arbitrary sentiments that have no logical basis, there needs to be a logical basis that demonstrates how a behavior does or does not help the human race and the societies we live in; otherwise, we could be a detriment to mankind - the most ultimate evil acting against a natural order that all species prescribe to.
Many many animal species are on the brink of extinction because of human actions. I dont think they deserve that, when humans bring animals to that brin, it's not natural, I think they shouldnt just deliberately be made extinct. Animals undertsand pain and suffering but they do not understand why they are being caused that pain and suffering that in my opinion is why animal cruelty is wrong. Most animals are not detrimental to our species. They are simply trying to live. I do not think most animals even want to go near a person at all. The animals outside do not harm me nor do they even want to be near me at all. So I see absoluetly no reason to cause any harm to them at all. It dosent benefit me, heck I dont even squash bugs because I dont really feel the need to. Animals are not "evil and detrimental to humans" they are just creatures trying to live in the same world. I dont know where you're getting that from. Im of the opinion that if you do not need to harm an animal, it should just be left alone. I love animals and I think being needlessly cruel to them is wrong. Heck, I want a career where I can do something to help them, so Im certainly not advocating causing them suffering and pain.
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  #27    
Old May 12th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Many many animal species are on the brink of extinction because of human actions. I dont think they deserve that, when humans bring animals to that brin, it's not natural, I think they shouldnt just deliberately be made extinct. Animals undertsand pain and suffering but they do not understand why they are being caused that pain and suffering that in my opinion is why animal cruelty is wrong. Most animals are not detrimental to our species. They are simply trying to live. I do not think most animals even want to go near a person at all. The animals outside do not harm me nor do they even want to be near me at all. So I see absoluetly no reason to cause any harm to them at all. It dosent benefit me, heck I dont even squash bugs because I dont really feel the need to. Animals are not "evil and detrimental to humans" they are just creatures trying to live in the same world. I dont know where you're getting that from. Im of the opinion that if you do not need to harm an animal, it should just be left alone. I love animals and I think being needlessly cruel to them is wrong. Heck, I want a career where I can do something to help them, so Im certainly not advocating causing them suffering and pain.
Animals don't deserve to become extinct? What justification? Who's to say if an animal has an inherent right or deserves to be treated on way or the other. Creatures do not deserve anything inherently, the natural order only affords physical and mental attributes to a species, if not afforded certain characteristics and your species is prone to extinction, it will go extinct, other species will prevail. The cognizance, or lack thereof, of the intentions behind one's own suffering does not make an act of predation wrong inherently.

Mere existence of other animals does not in itself cause detriment to society, true, but the mere protection of animals in certain cases is a detriment to the thriving existence of humans. You have taken five words from my post and put them into a completely different context.

For instance, medical research is most efficient with animal testing. Certainly, protecting animals from animal research would hinder the research process of medical advancement and therefore cause loss of human lives if animal testing were otherwise employed. That is just one, of many reason as to why leaving animals alone can be a detriment to society.

It does not matter what the animal's will is, animals have a will to not die, that sometimes does not coalesce with human interests to thrive. Advocacy against the mere suffering and pain along is albeit without a substantive purpose that is not logically based on the betterment of human society. Acting against one's species or society, again is a breach of duty to natural order, ultimately causing pain/suffering to one's own species rather than other species.
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  #28    
Old May 13th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Fenneking View Post
Can you justify why we have a duty to not let a given species go extinct?
Many species and plants possess a treasure trove of genetic and medicinal knowledge. Given how many poisonous/venomous animal species there are, would it not be pertinent to keep them around to synthesize antitoxins? I hope you don't go swimming and get stung by a Stonefish or if you come across a Black Mamba or a Rattlesnake. (And while you probably won't, there are millions of people that live in areas of the world populated by such creatures.) Or the hundreds of plant species that we use in medicines? That alone is impetus enough to save them, but there's also intrinsic value in saving biodiversity. I pity the generation that doesn't get to see amazing creatures like Polar Bears, or Tigers, or Rhinoceros in the wild, or at all.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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I pity the generation that doesn't get to see amazing creatures like Polar Bears, or Tigers, or Rhinoceros in the wild, or at all.
Indeed at this rate they said wild tigers will be gone in about 20 years. I honestly love the policy that the game reserves have in africa that if seen in a restricted area its a shoot to kill policy.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Indeed at this rate they said wild tigers will be gone in about 20 years. I honestly love the policy that the game reserves have in africa that if seen in a restricted area its a shoot to kill policy.
And if the tigers go extinct, than there will be no top predator to keep the herbivores at bay from overpopulating the area and destroy the vegetation. It's really important to not mess with the ecosystem because of the domino effect; If one is gone, then so will the rest. It will also bring a huge impact on humans, if we didn't have the technology to live in space, which will then lead to our own demise because of our constant abuse to animals.
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  #31    
Old May 13th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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Many species and plants possess a treasure trove of genetic and medicinal knowledge. Given how many poisonous/venomous animal species there are, would it not be pertinent to keep them around to synthesize antitoxins? I hope you don't go swimming and get stung by a Stonefish or if you come across a Black Mamba or a Rattlesnake. (And while you probably won't, there are millions of people that live in areas of the world populated by such creatures.) Or the hundreds of plant species that we use in medicines? That alone is impetus enough to save them, but there's also intrinsic value in saving biodiversity. I pity the generation that doesn't get to see amazing creatures like Polar Bears, or Tigers, or Rhinoceros in the wild, or at all.
I made the distinction that the only reasons why we should intervene the extinction of a species is when it would negatively affect human life. Like bees for instance.

Though, some wild creatures do not possess any viable resource to mankind, other than sentimentality. Using resources to prevent the extinction of an animal that only poses a sentimental value should not have resources used to prevent its extinction when those resources could go to the prevention of a species that is viable to the betterment of mankind.

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And if the tigers go extinct, than there will be no top predator to keep the herbivores at bay from overpopulating the area and destroy the vegetation. It's really important to not mess with the ecosystem because of the domino effect; If one is gone, then so will the rest. It will also bring a huge impact on humans, if we didn't have the technology to live in space, which will then lead to our own demise because of our constant abuse to animals.
Top predators become extinct all the time in history, before mankind existed. Another predator simply emerges. One species extinction, does not always, if ever, mean the extinction of an ecosystem in its entirety, nor the extinction of the human race.

Though poaching, could be considered a breach of duty, in that tigers are a resource, and therefore they do not have the right to shoot them freely.

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  #32    
Old May 14th, 2013, 08:01 AM
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Top predators become extinct all the time in history, before mankind existed. Another predator simply emerges. One species extinction, does not always, if ever, mean the extinction of an ecosystem in its entirety, nor the extinction of the human race.

Though poaching, could be considered a breach of duty, in that tigers are a resource, and therefore they do not have the right to shoot them freely.
But killing off top predators to extinction at an earlier period of time would prevent new predators, who will take their place, from existing, which means overhunting can mess with the evolution process. We will never get another big cat species that descended from tigers if tigers are wiped out by human activity.

This is why alien civilization belittle us humans in movies, shows, and books because of our nature for violence despite our good intentions.
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  #33    
Old May 14th, 2013, 08:32 AM
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To be fair, an alien civilisaton, if they possess the technology to even get here, would have advanced far beyond the carrying capacity of their home planet in a kind of Malthusian catastrophe. Excessive use of energy, such as what would be required for fast enough aircraft for planetary migration to become feasible, without adequate disposal of heat, could make the planet unsuitable for the dominant life forms. They would have drained the planet of all of their resources and live a nomadic life by migrating from planet to planet that possesses carbon-based lifeforms and proteins to literally use as a refuelling station. Think War of the Worlds, except they'll be more likely to send AI-controlled robots first in fear of dying from extraterrestrial microbes making them ill.

The idea of an alien society that belittles humans for their own stupidity and themselves having all of these high ideals that most of us humans look up to as pure and righteous altruism is a shoddy representation of how a civilisation of galactic magnitude would look.

Other than that, cool beans.
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  #34    
Old May 14th, 2013, 09:37 PM
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But killing off top predators to extinction at an earlier period of time would prevent new predators, who will take their place, from existing, which means overhunting can mess with the evolution process. We will never get another big cat species that descended from tigers if tigers are wiped out by human activity.

This is why alien civilization belittle us humans in movies, shows, and books because of our nature for violence despite our good intentions.
Overhunting, sure, that can be counterproductive, but let's say over-hunting is not prevalent, and a predator is becoming more sparse, a new predator will take its place. Even in the case of poached tigers, they are not the only predator powerful to overcome herbivores, if for whatever reason Tigers were wiped out, another already existing species (perhaps less powerful than the tiger, yet more powerful than herbivores) would have less competition and more availability to the weaker species. I am not advocating pouching at all, simply, if they are to be pouched to extinction, long-term, the ecosystem will quickly adapt at allow other predators to emerge swiftly. Pouching, in this instance, does not serve society, and I would adamantly oppose it on those grounds. So in that regard I agree, just with different reasoning.

Pouching should only be employed if it best serves society, in this case it does not. Again, regardless if we are talking about protectionist or pouching, human intervention should only occur when it best serves human life. Killing of defenseless animals can actually be beneficial, and should only be done so when beneficial to man. For instance, mosquitoes can carry many diseases. Costs of reducing mosquito species may counteract healthcare cost, and could be a good investment. (Though scientists may want to preserve some lab-testing mosquitoes, etc.). Protection and Killing of animals are both important, we need to understand that either way, its not about animal rights, its about human right to better serve our species; it should never be done arbitrarily out of sentimentality alone.
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  #35    
Old May 14th, 2013, 10:01 PM
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I still am uncomfortable with the belief that animals are just tools to use and not living things like they are. I do not view them that way and am not comfortable with them being viewed that way. I do not want to use them. In my opinion they dont have to serve a purpose for people.
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  #36    
Old May 14th, 2013, 10:11 PM
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I still am uncomfortable with the belief that animals are just tools to use and not living things like they are. I do not view them that way and am not comfortable with them being viewed that way. I do not want to use them. In my opinion they dont have to serve a purpose for people.
Once we start protecting or not protecting, or killing or not killing animals without consideration of the affects of mankind as the primary reason for either discourse, we are sacrificing resources that could go to helping the lives of people. Yes, sometimes they do not serve a purpose to people, and therefore, depending on the circumstance, we should neither protect or kill them, given that either would waste resources that could be used for humans, so it isn't necessarily true we are using animals in all instance simply our actions need to employ cost/benefit analysis to mankind's above all else, sometimes non-intervention best accomplishes this goal.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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People sometimes want to protect animals for the sake of biodiversity,because they like them or are interested, can't that also be viewed as a human interest? I dont see that as a bad thing, but maybe we can agree to dissagree. Helping and protecting animals is an interest of mine, what is your view on people who pursue that as a living, Fenneking? Also many people study animals out of interest or for a career.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 10:31 PM
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People sometimes want to protect animals for the sake of biodiversity,because they like them or are interested, can't that also be viewed as a human interest? I dont see that as a bad thing, but maybe we can agree to dissagree. Helping and protecting animals is an interest of mine, what is your view on people who pursue that as a living, Fenneking? Also many people study animals out of interest or for a career.

Well, since you ask, let me make a distinction. Biodiversity must utilize resources in forms of medicine, research, biologists, etc, all of which could be directed toward certain species that will assist human life, or to human life itself. For every action we take, we are choosing to not take an action elsewhere, therefore, it's all about a cost-benefit analysis. If we protect an animal with little or no regard to an interest to human life/health we are choosing sentimentality over the lives of humans. Actually, my view on those who pursue that career field are mixed. First, there are those who utilize research grants to study bees, cattle health/behavior, etc. There is a clear reason for bettering our society in protecting or studying certain species, and therefore, that money is being invested in bettering human lives, despite the fact that those funds could have gone directly to human medicine science. If you invest thousands or millions in grant money protecting an animal for mere purposes of biodiversity or sentiment, that money is being spent on this research rather than on direct human medical research. Therefore, a researcher's/preservationist's cause must be greater or equal to medical research or something of equal importance to human life, in order to make an adequate cost-benefit analysis. Therefore, you can protect certain animals and serve the humankind as a career, it's all about what you choose to do in the field. I would suggest to consider this when selecting your expertise. If so, I wish you all the best
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Old May 14th, 2013, 11:28 PM
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The entire topic makes me sick to my stomach. I can't really say much else without getting far too emotionally invested. I'd like keep an eye on the topic, though, as it's an interesting conversation.
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  #40    
Old May 15th, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Honestly, with arbitrary inflation or deflation of the us-group vs a them-group, we can make any measure we take beneficial for our selected we-group. As long as we only care about our us-group, we won't feel guilty about what we do to the them-group, and really, the human species is still having difficulties allowing every kind of human in existence into their us-groups. Whether we choose that us-group to be entirely discriminant on human species alone, whether we take dogs, cats, ferrets, goldfish, and other animals we've domesticated and accepted into our society into the equation, or whether we want the best for animals in general, comes down to how much we want to inflate or deflate what our us-group is. In the case of Fenneking, he draws an exact line at where our human species ends. Anything else is a them-group, and their benefits are not part of the benefits of the us-group in many cases. If we can use a them-group to benefit an us-group, only then is it okay to protect. So therefore, we shouldn't be obliged to care about the extinction of pandas, or of some animal that plays a minimal role in the ecosystem. Every line we draw between an us and a them will be arbitrary, even drawing no line will be arbitrary. And you can draw lines within lines. Celebi drew an us-group around not just humans, but around all animal life, and so would I. It's just as arbitrary as any other line to draw. So to establish this, any us-group, whatever you feel personally connected to, be it in essence or in your values, is valid. That's not an arguable point, but a personal question of ethics.

Calling the protection of an animal that does not benefit mankind a waste of resources isn't just logical thinking. It is sheer evangelism of what boundaries we have to set on what we do accept in the us-group and what not. We can be selfish, and say that human survival is our only duty, and the rest can suck it, but that is just as arbitrary as saying we have duty for the survival of our race, language, religion, city, neighbourhood, nation, genus, phylum, family, class, order, individual, whatever, that takes precedence over a them. In most cases, that's what politics like to do to us. We have several animals we are okay with accepting in the us-group. Dogs and cats are a good example. We can't say that the extinction of the chihuahua would damage our chances of survival, but it's acceptable to not want to let the breed die out, because people love them and we've long let them into the us-group, into society.

So why should it be acceptable to protect things we love? Empathy. The trait in human beings to empathise helped glue together society, and has taught us to watch for one another. We long to find something in common with each other, and we want to safeguard what we love. Our altruism has brought people together to strive towards a common goal. Heck, the entire project to keep pandas from going extinct is a classic example of how it brought international co-operation into motion. It binds people to share in their empathy. It has come to symbolise the ideal for why we should care about animals, like we care for each other, and not say "Who cares? It's not our problem." Of course, it doesn't have to be a problem of ours, if you define what you do care to protect and what you don't with a thick border, and say that this is what everyone should follow. But wherever we set boundaries does not matter. We protect because we have passion, and please let's never let an arbitrary choice of boundary get in our ways to live passionately.

To care, or not to care, that is the question.
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  #41    
Old May 15th, 2013, 03:12 PM
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Honestly, with arbitrary inflation or deflation of the us-group vs a them-group, we can make any measure we take beneficial for our selected we-group. As long as we only care about our us-group, we won't feel guilty about what we do to the them-group, and really, the human species is still having difficulties allowing every kind of human in existence into their us-groups. Whether we choose that us-group to be entirely discriminant on human species alone, whether we take dogs, cats, ferrets, goldfish, and other animals we've domesticated and accepted into our society into the equation, or whether we want the best for animals in general, comes down to how much we want to inflate or deflate what our us-group is. In the case of Fenneking, he draws an exact line at where our human species ends. Anything else is a them-group, and their benefits are not part of the benefits of the us-group in many cases. If we can use a them-group to benefit an us-group, only then is it okay to protect. So therefore, we shouldn't be obliged to care about the extinction of pandas, or of some animal that plays a minimal role in the ecosystem. Every line we draw between an us and a them will be arbitrary, even drawing no line will be arbitrary. And you can draw lines within lines. Celebi drew an us-group around not just humans, but around all animal life, and so would I. It's just as arbitrary as any other line to draw. So to establish this, any us-group, whatever you feel personally connected to, be it in essence or in your values, is valid. That's not an arguable point, but a personal question of ethics.

Calling the protection of an animal that does not benefit mankind a waste of resources isn't just logical thinking. It is sheer evangelism of what boundaries we have to set on what we do accept in the us-group and what not. We can be selfish, and say that human survival is our only duty, and the rest can suck it, but that is just as arbitrary as saying we have duty for the survival of our race, language, religion, city, neighborhood, nation, genus, phylum, family, class, order, individual, whatever, that takes precedence over a them. In most cases, that's what politics like to do to us. We have several animals we are okay with accepting in the us-group. Dogs and cats are a good example. We can't say that the extinction of the chihuahua would damage our chances of survival, but it's acceptable to not want to let the breed die out, because people love them and we've long let them into the us-group, into society.

So why should it be acceptable to protect things we love? Empathy. The trait in human beings to empathise helped glue together society, and has taught us to watch for one another. We long to find something in common with each other, and we want to safeguard what we love. Our altruism has brought people together to strive towards a common goal. Heck, the entire project to keep pandas from going extinct is a classic example of how it brought international co-operation into motion. It binds people to share in their empathy. It has come to symbolize the ideal for why we should care about animals, like we care for each other, and not say "Who cares? It's not our problem." Of course, it doesn't have to be a problem of ours, if you define what you do care to protect and what you don't with a thick border, and say that this is what everyone should follow. But wherever we set boundaries does not matter. We protect because we have passion, and please let's never let an arbitrary choice of boundary get in our ways to live passionately.

To care, or not to care, that is the question.
Should we have empathy for all creatures? Should we assist all insects, or just mammals? Should we help single-cellular animals or multi-cellular animals? Why are some meritable and others not? Is it subjective?

There needs to be more reason than empathy, if so, we would assist all animals. Empathy is therefore arbitrary since it doesn't fulfill an objective purpose since animals are subjectively protected or not protected. The only way to be objective is to make decisions that better mankind. Given the only other objective discourse is to do what is best for the environmental, in which case, man should be eradicated. Therefore, most will go with the first discourse.

Actually, you have a point. Humans developed certain stimuli with evolution that released euphoric chemicals when they assisted other humans. Thus, our ability to survive while similar species died out. Though, this residual physiological feature clouts clear judgement as we began developing sentimentality toward other species, in that we began to not make decision that were best for mankind, and yes, we began to establish subjectivity in who we feel empathy for animal or human and who we do not. Thus, we should try to employ reasoning rather than be driven by our arbitrary sentimental thoughts subjectively save some species that do not assist mankind, but not others that are valuable to mankind.

Now, domesticated animals, we have let sentimentality cause some detriment to society, but there have been reforms. For instance, spade and neutering animals, and therefore limiting the number of their species, has become essential in controlling the pet population. Are we protecting the dogs rights to reproduce? We should remain objective in that human society is affected negatively by too large of a dog or cat population.

Further, labrats, should our empathy for them trump man's ability to do medical research? That is why empathy alone is not the best discourse if one values humankind, one's own species, rather than another. The reason why we allow for lab rat experimentation is for our empathy for man and oneself. It is cost-effective.

The chihuahua example is good though! The difference between protecting an animal living in one's home and any wild animal is key. For instance, economically, the selling of dogs and cats is effective and a part of trade, selling to man's sentiments on a large-scale, any animal that can be domesticated, MASS-marketed, and not pose danger for society could be a viable animal to protect to an extent. One might object and refer to zoos, but these animals are not a marketable good, that one can possess, they are an entertainment service, which is not an integral part of our economy. If dogs ceased to exist tomorrow, the economy would be negatively affected. If giraffes ceased to exist, some people might lament, but generally there would be no SUBSTANTIAL change in the vast vast vast majority of human lives.

All-in-all, very interesting post EGKangaroo.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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I agree, really. I did say earlier in this thread that I do support medicinal experimentation on animals because it greatly reduces suffering in the human population. While I love animals and wish to extend similar empathy towards them as I do to humans, I also have to make moral choices, and those choices are going to be hard. There are going to have to be trade-offs and prioritising of whose suffering is greater or lesser, and in most cases that means the closer they are to your ego, the better. We build a group of "us" that can only exist with a self in the middle. That's the sole thing that turns a them into an us in the first place. Makes linguistic sense, and it also makes psychological sense. We put layers upon layers of close individuals that we consider an us and helping anyone who is part of an us makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, which is the chemicals that are released upon empathy which I cannot name because biochemistry is not my forte.

The human species are unique, in that they're the only species that understand their entire species as an "us". Most animals do not possess these traits. They think mostly of "us" as their mob, herd, pack, whatever. Humans still have it too. We still have our herds of nations and they all more or less want to act in their own diplomatic interests, and kinda recognise that co-operation gets them the things they want so they don't go blowing each other up at the risk of thermonuclear war. It's scaring to be all alone as the only species on the planet to really be this aware of our speciesdom, because there's nothing else we can compare ourselves to and we must work our way out ourselves. And perhaps we all remain egocentric, because we sure as hell always include ourselves, and thus our own species in the us-group, and all must benefit us. But we're also aware we're part of a genus, a family, an order, a class, a phylum, a kingdom. Would the next step be that we should recognise our genusdom? A question that seems irrelevant now, but would probably be raised if the Neanderthals still existed, among other species that used to exist in the homo genus. All hail the homokind though, right? And we're slowly coming to an understanding that Chimpanzees are more like us than we think, and we want to pull them on a more and more equal footing with us.

In the words of Carl Sagan: "Humans — who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals — have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and 'animals' is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them — without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us."
(You seem to agree on the fact animals can suffer as well, so the last couple of sentences are the most relevant here.)

We create layers upon layers of orders in priority in who deserves empathy more when a dilemma arises. Of course, a fly gets some empathy in the end. Most people will find it pointless to kill one that just happens to be standing on the wall. Human priority may take way when we're in a car and we run over countless of insects. There's no possible way to get around when we have to be careful not to hit any bug that happens to be on the road or happens to fly right into the windshield. Humans definitely take priority, but that does not mean other animals are automatically a 'them' in all cases. Even for humankind we see this kind of layering. If you have money to spend on paying the medical costs and saving one of your family members from a rare disease, you'd do that rather than give the money to someone else. Even if the latter would have more of a benefit to humankind than the former.

The layers of priority don't necessarily have to follow the exact distance in biological relation, obviously. What I try to make my moral decisions by, sometimes out of pragmatism, is to ask the question Jeremy Bentham asked: The question is not Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?

For that reason, we feel little empathy to animals like insects, which have a fairly underdeveloped central nervous system, and certainly don't feel empathy for most uni-cellulars like amoeba, or plants, sponges, coral, whatever, for they do not have a central nervous system at all. For now, that is reason enough to contend that amoeba, plants, etc. cannot suffer. Science has not discovered any other way that suffering can exist without consciousness, or a central nervous system. A lot of pescetarians also defend themselves that fish are less able to suffer than most other foods so it's morally less questionable to eat fish. Whether that's true or not is debatable, to be honest, but I've heard many fish species do exhibit higher intelligence than we take for granted.

But, yeah, I think I owe you a few objective arguments as well. You said it wouldn't matter for humankind so much if Giraffes die out. But have you considered the money nations in Africa make on tourism? Could you imagine the damage a serious decrease in biodiversity would have to the tourism in those nations? It could be quite substantial. And think of all the zoos that lose revenue. Heck, if Australia were to have their macropods go extinct I'd imagine them losing within the hundreds of millions in tourism revenue.
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Last edited by EGKangaroo; May 16th, 2013 at 06:46 AM.
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  #43    
Old May 21st, 2013, 07:00 PM
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I regret that I don't have the time to make an adequate response to this, as it is very well thought-out. I concede to your criticism, it is entirely correct. I do think the topic warrants more discussion.

I like your proposed solution.

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Originally Posted by Shiny Celebi View Post
Sorry but I do not agree with this. I do not view animals as "property" or "resources". They are not just bags of bones, they are living things like we are. I dont agree with them being cast aside as things people own or tools to use. I dont really believe I own my cat. I prefer to think of myself more as a guardian to her, a caretaker and companion. She is not just another thing I own. She's a living creature with a personality, maybe not like a person's but she has one and is unique. I also dont agree with harming them senselessly. Viewing them as property encourages this treatment of them in my opinion. I think that' wrong.
Why? Why should an animal be treated as anything more than mere property?

Being a "living thing" does not place something on the same pedestal as we are on. Uniqueness, predisposition to act in a certain way, none of these things place it on a higher pedestal than an object, except for the fact that you are attached to it. And people are attached to certain types of property in a similar way. It's the definition that fits best, plus it still affords them an adequate level of protection under the law.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 07:23 PM
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So much is focussed on the ownership question: Do people own animals?

But here is another question: Do people own their children?

The law grants a child's parents unparalleled control over the life, and even the death of the child. A parent can determine when and what a child eats, whether they are clothed or not, when or if they can play, what friends they can have, and in case of medical decisions, when to no longer allow medical intervention to prolong their lives. They are potty trained just as dogs are housebroken.

In much the same way we make decisions affecting the lives animals that live with us, so to do we do the same with our children. So are they property? They don't have first amendment rights, since parents can easily, and legally, curtail any speech that they might make, they certainly don't have religious freedoms, as parents will always push their beliefs on their children as a way to teach them right from wrong.

In fact, more startling, a fetus is better regarded and protected than a child that is born. For once a child is born, their right to life is secondary to a parents' right to raise that child how they see fit, within the boundries of the law.

I submit that some people treat the animals living in their home better than they treat their own children. Now that is frightening.
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