FAQ Memberlist Usergroups Register Log in
Profile Log in to check your private messages Search

Animal rights
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Forum Index -> General Discussion
Author Message
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject: Animal rights Reply with quote

Being that this is a topic which I'm getting more and more involved in, I'd be interested in hearing what other forum members think about it. Should animals have rights? If so, what rights should animals have? If they have rights, are those rights being violated in today's world? If so, what do we do about it?

Judging by the above questions, I think it's easy to guess my position. So, speak your minds! ^_^ I'm expecting some philosophy from Nem at the least.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
thespaceinvader



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 650
Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What animals?

What rights?

Should an ant have the same rights as a gorilla?

It's an interesting subject that probably needs a more in-depth OP than yours, setting out your position for debate rather than just asking questions.
_________________
Keeper of Tristram's rings, and Felucca's very expressive ears.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point. Let me do that now, then!

I think that any animal with the ability to feel pain has the right to not feel pain unnecessarily. I think such animals have a right to freedom from slavery and killing.
I think this for the same reason that I think humans have such rights. I don't think it's our intelligence that gives us these rights. (I'm working under the assumption that human beings have these rights, and I know that's not a universal assumption. Feel free to argue it.) I think it's sensible to say that if you can feel pain, you shouldn't have to feel it unnecessarily, no matter what you look like.

Now, there's the matter of what 'unnecessary' means here. All of the industries that use animals, be they for food, clothing, even science (though that's a whole 'nother issue) can survive perfectly fine without animals. There's enough nutrition and materials to be had from plants and synthetic materials that we really don't need to be using animals the way we do. Therefore, I think eating meat, wearing leather and similar such things are immoral.

To answer your last question, according to the above logic an ant should not have the same rights as a gorilla, because current science says that insects do not feel pain, as far as I understand. That said, I think being alive gives you the right to not have your life ended unnecessarily, and that's a right I would attribute to the ant.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1080
Location: Next to Waldo

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll debate higher-level creatures later, but I disagree with you to an extent, Tam. I will contest that I had every right to kill the 15 hornets that found their way into my living room because I and my four roommates were at risk for bodily harm. Similarly, I feel like pests that are doing property damage, like termites eating the foundation of my house, are eligible for eradication.

Japanese beetles eating my garden will also feel the wrath of my heel--I can't be bothered to catch them in a jar, then release them into a forest somewhere. Increasing the population unnaturally can ultimately be destructive. (So, the Japanese beetle population rises dramatically in the forest. They eat more vegetation than they should, causing a food shortage not only for the beetles but also for the deer. The plants would also die because they are stripped too much. In the end, the forest as an ecosystem could nearly die. It would right itself later, but almost every population would be genetically bottlenecked, making them that much more susceptible to disease and inbreeding.)

That being said, I do NOT think that you should go out into the forest, find a hornets' nest and destroy it, nor did I agree with the widespread use of pesticide in parks during the West Nile scare in America. Killing insects in their natural habitat can wreak havoc on an ecosystem and create anomalies that could potentially be more destructive than before. (Like mosquitoes resistant to pesticide. This strain would have surfaced eventually...but we moved it along very, very rapidly.)

My rule of thumb is to respect each others' homes. If the bugs are in my home uninvited, they're gone. When I'm in their home, I take care to respect them.
_________________
Keeper of Zaebos' and Jormand's powers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You aren't disagreeing with me too much, Mane... =) I, too, kill bugs every so often. If I have a way of getting rid of them without killing them, I'll prefer that, but if they're posing a threat to my health or property, I'm okay with killing them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1080
Location: Next to Waldo

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a side note, I do use bitter melon when I can to discourage beetles from eating my garden. Just slice the gourd into thin slices, salt them, and lay them out in the sun. Not only will this release a bunch of bitter water, but you can also squeeze more water out by hand later. I'll put this into a spray bottle and spray the leaves of my plants. Be SURE to wash your herbs/vegetables before you eat them, though--otherwise, they'll be quite bitter... It doesn't discourage all of the bugs, but it does get rid of quite a few naturally. I don't do it as often as I'd like because bitter melon is sometimes hard to find.
_________________
Keeper of Zaebos' and Jormand's powers.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Anonymous
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People, and by extension animals, have no natural rights of any kind. A criminal trying to point a gun at an armed policeman has no right to life, and his protestations to the contrary will not aid him in resisting the eventual outcome of his actions. What right does a person being torn apart by a hungry beast have to be free of pain? The shark will not recognise that right. Break the universe down into its smallest components and you will not be able to point to a single particle of mercy or justice.

Then we come to the more complex arguments for morality; Kantian and utilitarian morals, things of that ken. But they proceed from a set of unjustified premises.

Kant builds upon the base assumption that there are things that everyone can agree are immoral, and goes from there in attempting to construct a justification for things being immoral. Which yields the obvious infinite loop problem.

10 Why's this immoral? Because that is immoral.
20 Why's that immoral? Because this is immoral.
30 Goto 10

Utilitarian arguments tend to follow the line that since pain matters to us that we should decry it wherever it occurs and that since pleasure matters we should maximise it wherever it occurs. But it overlooks the fact that it's not pain in general that matters to me but MY pain, or the pain of those in close social groups. Someone who is quite happily inflicting pain on others by eating them or what have you should have no concern for the utilitarian argument. It simply generalises limited concern to concern for all sentient things. So while it serves to state the position of those who already agree with it, it has no real virtue as an argument beyond the power of rhetoric.

What people mistake for natural rights are actually socially negotiated privileges. A right, properly expressed, makes no sense without the contrast of duty, a protection voluntarily assumed by the individual on behalf of the social group or society to which they belong. The degree of abstraction involved in such behaviour ultimately determines the moral heights to which the individual can aspire.

Animals however are rarely a part of such societies. Oh for sure a dog or like may gain a certain right to life by its use to society, to the love of its master by loyalty; but that doesn't generalise to all animals or even to all dogs for the relationship that the dog aspires to is to the individual or small social group, and its rights within society are purchased by that group on its behalf. Although of course to destroy out of hand has never been an advisable act what duty does an insect have to society, what duty does a cow have? In proportion to those duties lie the measure of their rights.
Back to top
thespaceinvader



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 650
Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another question: how do you know which animals can feel pain?
_________________
Keeper of Tristram's rings, and Felucca's very expressive ears.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 1800
Location: The boring part of Washington

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@spacey: Nerves.

Another question: fear.
_________________
...In accordance with the prophesy.

TheBSDude, dubbed 'BS' by Asa and nicknamed 'Thebes.'
Keeper of the Tristam, The Amazing Non-Emo Vampire!(tm) and a Massive List of Webcomics.

"I'm like a ninja with no hopes or dreams." --Wally of Dilbert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3531
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Nem2'? Is there a story behind that?

I think the issue of animal rights has gotten very cloudy in recent history. organizations like PETA who value animals as equal to or above humans are way off the deep end.

I think humans have a responsibility to care for their possessions properly. Pets should be treated with care and kindness, otherwise what's the point of having them? It's really hard to draw the line, especially when one finds oneself using "having a right to X" as general terminology. I suppose I think animals have "subsistence 'rights'", for lack of a better term. People have a responsibility to care for them, and as long as they don't pose a threat they have a right to live.

I can't think of anything else beyond that animals absolutely need, which is the definition of a right. Anything else is a privilege.
_________________
Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Anonymous
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
'Nem2'? Is there a story behind that?


Not a very interesting one. My other account; me being the original Nem; deactivated when I updated my email address to my current address, and I simply haven't received an email/link to reactivate it since.

Edit: ^_^;
Back to top
Tinalles
Site Admin


Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1630
Location: Grand Forks

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem, I just reactivated your main account. I bet the reset email got eaten by a spam filter or something.
_________________
Keeper of The Remnant Minuon (cognomen Lucy, the Eaten One) and the Emissary Caeli
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ^_^
_________________
Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Tinalles
Site Admin


Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1630
Location: Grand Forks

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure! Now on with things.

Nem2 wrote:
Utilitarian arguments ... overlook the fact that it's not pain in general that matters to me but MY pain, or the pain of those in close social groups. [They] simply generalise limited concern to concern for all sentient things.


Major premise: Tamir is a human being.

Minor premise: Tamir does not eat meat or use leather due to a belief that the pain of animals matters.

Conclusion: some human beings act out of concern for pain which does not affect themselves or their families directly.

It is therefore an invalid generalization to claim (or imply) that humans act only out of a "limited concern" for their own well being or that of their families and friends.

Is that your only basis for rejecting utilitarian arguments regarding morality?
_________________
Keeper of The Remnant Minuon (cognomen Lucy, the Eaten One) and the Emissary Caeli
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to argue the finer points of this with you all, but my basic view of animal rights is that a predator-prey relationship exists naturally in nature, and we should not feel guilty for being predators. However, since we do have the ability to reason, I think we should be merciful, and therefore do not support animal cruelty.

Basically: I have no problem eating meat or wearing leather, but I do have a problem with many of the things that go on in slaughter-houses. Unfortunately, I don't think PETA arguing that you shouldn't move a turtle from a road because it "wants" to be there is helping the situation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic     Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



Elveron phpBB theme/template by Ulf Frisk and Michael Schaeffer
Copyright Ulf Frisk, Michael Schaeffer 2004


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group