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enriquemessonier
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May 14 2005 00:51

Im afraid the ominvores have clearly won this one in the humour st(e)akes

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JoeMaguire
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May 14 2005 11:25
Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:

Would you tell a mentally handicapped individual that they have, in your view, a simillar mental capacity to that of a pig? They had a political party for your sort in Germany back in the 1940's.

Making me out to be the reactionary makes no sense, and I also think its in poor taste to argue this way. Theyre simply are people with a mental capacity less than animals, and this refutes the speciest logic that animals are 'inferior because they are less intelligent'.

Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:
Interestingly, if you were to fall into a pen full of pigs, they would eat you alive. It follows from this that they are either unaware of what it is to be alive or they are malevolant bastards with no respect for the sanctity of life- and therefore do not deserve any such consideration from us.

If an animal tries to kill you then self defence must prevail, we are talking not about morality but survival...I just found out a gang of asian youths jumped my brother, I contrast that to your pig scenario...doesnt the actions of the youths in question legitimise racism? - I dont think so some how...

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madashell
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May 14 2005 12:03
october_lost wrote:
madashell wrote:
si wrote:
Those are all scientific questions, and interesting ones. But there is an underlying philosophical assumption that seems to have evaded examination: why are those things and those things only the criteria for animals to become something more? Why should animals be protected only insofar as they resemble us?

Because you can only suffer as much as you can understand suffering and you can only be oppressed as much as you can understand what freedom is. Without the capacity for abstract thought, a true understanding of life and liberty is impossible.

What about human infants and the mentally infirm? The logic of your arguement would make paedophillia acceptable?

What also of the mentally retarded?

The very young and the mentally ill either have at least developing potential for abstract thought or would do if it weren't for illness. Completely different to pigs (to carry on with the same example) which can never have the capacity for abstract thought regardless.

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JoeMaguire
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May 14 2005 16:21

Why choose the capacity for abstract thought?

Ghost_of_the_re...
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May 14 2005 16:28
october_lost wrote:
Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:

Would you tell a mentally handicapped individual that they have, in your view, a simillar mental capacity to that of a pig? They had a political party for your sort in Germany back in the 1940's.

Making me out to be the reactionary makes no sense, and I also think its in poor taste to argue this way. Theyre simply are people with a mental capacity less than animals, and this refutes the speciest logic that animals are 'inferior because they are less intelligent'.

Given a choice between killing a mentally handicapped person and a pig, which would you choose? I am increasingly beggining to suspect you would spare the pig...

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JoeMaguire
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May 14 2005 16:38

I cant fathom the logic of such an argument. As someone whose anti-racist I refuse to be drawn into arguments of black vs. white, because they are completely fruitless. I cant directly see where people get this humans vs. animals nonsense from, we live a modern society for heavens sake, we should aim to reduce all suffering to minimum, especially when you take into consideration things like human health, global warming, land use, pollution...animal rights isnt to the detriment of humans, but can potentially enrich and empower our lives.

But back to your question, since I believe that animal rights is only achieveable under a libertarian society, I would always support human solidairty over animal welfare, but as I have previously said I dont necessary see the same conflicts as you seem to, and I believe strongly in Bakunins dictum of 'building the new, in the shell of the old.'

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Spartacus
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May 14 2005 17:14

personally i think people who can't seem to even conceive of an anarchist society in which the diet is vegan for ethical reasons are no less guilty of misanthropy than people who for instance compare the meat industry to the holocaust (unless of course the comparison was "the meat industry is in no way whatsoever similar to the holocaust". not aiming that at anyone here, but i have heard it from some idiots before...).

one of the things which distinguishes humans from other animals is our ability to empathise with other animals. otherwise people wouldn't still have pets after things like rat poison had been invented, zoos with all their vileness would not exist as no one would care about seeing other animals other than scientists, and kids wouldn't have a favourite animal. with every step up in technology and process in human society, this empathy gets greater, hence why in most advanced industrial capitalist countries where we have comparative material wealth and all the benefits of increased time for thought etc., obviously cruel sports that existed during feudalism have more or less disappeared. saying that it should be continued just because that's what humans have always done is not that far from primitivists saying that we should destroy civilisation because for most of humanity's existence we were hunter gatherers...

surely in an anarchist society, the most advanced society we can currently conceive, it is logical that the use of animals for anything other than the absolutely necessary for survival would cease. eating meat and dairy products is not a biological necessity, it's a taste choice. i don't expect that to happen immediately after a revolution, at a guess i would say four or five generations down the line, unless of course it was discovered that in order to save certain areas from immediate starving the whole planet would have to go temporarily vegan, which i doubt (although if it was the case i hope those of you so attached to your bacon sandwiches would be willing to do so. by the way, a sandwich is such a waste of bacon, you should be having the full english breakfast with it). obviously, right now, i don't think there's anything wrong in eating meat or dairy products, except on a personal level for me. i just think that in a future anarchist society the tendency is likely to go towards veganism, because humans are not naturally arseholes.

so i don't really get what an anarchist position on veganism would really entail, to answer the original question, other than that bit above. that "devastate to liberate or devastatingly liberal" pamphlet is damn good though. in fact, of the short political pamphlets that i've read, i think it's probably the best. not just as far as ar is concerned but activism in general.

apologies if the above is slightly incoherent, but it's my birthday party tonight, so i've already started drinking...

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madashell
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May 14 2005 20:28
october_lost wrote:
Why choose the capacity for abstract thought?

Like I already said:

"Because you can only suffer as much as you can understand suffering and you can only be oppressed as much as you can understand what freedom is. Without the capacity for abstract thought, a true understanding of life and liberty is impossible."

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lucy_parsons
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May 15 2005 07:48

I agree with revol about the self-awareness thing and also reckon that the "you shouldn't eat meat unless you're prepared to kill an animal" argument is stupid and wrong. I mean, I like vodka but I wouldn't get potatoes and make it my bloody self.

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JoeMaguire
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May 15 2005 10:23
madashell wrote:
october_lost wrote:
Why choose the capacity for abstract thought?

Like I already said:

"Because you can only suffer as much as you can understand suffering and you can only be oppressed as much as you can understand what freedom is. Without the capacity for abstract thought, a true understanding of life and liberty is impossible."

So a child doesnt feel pain like an adult would? I find the way you rationalise this rather abstract. Evolutionary theory tells us that natural selection would always maintain those creatures which are prone to being hunted would have a greater capacity for pain than those that exist at the top of the eco-system.

Ghost_of_the_re...
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May 15 2005 14:49

Me: "That car is red"

October_lost's reply: "What do you mean you don't think it was appropriate for the British public to contribute towards reconstruction of areas destroyed by the Asian tsunami?"

Me: "I'm hungry"

October_lost's reply: "What do you mean you don't think the end of the first star wars movie justifies reckless mass murder for the sake of moral principles?"

Me: "A pig has no knowledge of it's own existence, therefore to deprive it of life is to deprive it of nothing at all"

October_lost's reply: "what do you mean children can't feel pain?"

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madashell
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May 16 2005 03:13
october_lost wrote:
madashell wrote:
october_lost wrote:
Why choose the capacity for abstract thought?

Like I already said:

"Because you can only suffer as much as you can understand suffering and you can only be oppressed as much as you can understand what freedom is. Without the capacity for abstract thought, a true understanding of life and liberty is impossible."

So a child doesnt feel pain like an adult would? I find the way you rationalise this rather abstract. Evolutionary theory tells us that natural selection would always maintain those creatures which are prone to being hunted would have a greater capacity for pain than those that exist at the top of the eco-system.

Its not about capacity for pain. But rather capacity for abstract thought, something all human beings are capable of to some degree.

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JoeMaguire
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May 16 2005 13:13

You have specifically choosen criteria which benefits the status of humans...thats like arguing with a racist who says white is the criteria for racial superiority. Pain is pain, whats abstract thought got to do with it?

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the button
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May 16 2005 13:51
revol68 wrote:
the existance of self consciousness means that pain and suffering are much more profound.

Hegelian! angry

wink

I know, I know -- the opposite of Hegelian, in fact. Nietzche's definition of self-consciousness -- "an animal soul turned against itself."

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the button
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May 16 2005 13:57
revol68 wrote:
yeah well in someways consciousness is the negation of nature, consciousness is both part of nature but in a sense it's negation.

Nature has brought into being it's own gravedigger.

obviously this is all pretentious wank.

"Negation" in the sense of aufheben, equally obviously.

wink

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JoeMaguire
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May 16 2005 16:09
revol68 wrote:
jesus h christ your a right fucking muppet aren't you? the reason abstract thought is important is because suffering and pain extend much further when an animal is conscious, has plans for the future, loved ones, dreams hopes. A cow isn't conscious of itself therefore "death" per se means little to it in the way it does to humans. Of course animals lacking self awareness can still suffer and feel pain and these should be relieved as much as possible in human interaction but the existance of self consciousness means that pain and suffering are much more profound.

Revol, if you have little then what you have means more to you than those who have lots, am I right? I think you have taken the pain conception, while ignoring the 'subjects of life' status of the animal, it doesnt matter how concious, abstaract or superior an animals intelligence is, its going to be pretty annoyed to have its life ended....

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Volin
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May 16 2005 18:27
Quote:
I cant directly see where people get this humans vs. animals nonsense from, we live a modern society for heavens sake, we should aim to reduce all suffering to minimum, especially when you take into consideration things like human health, global warming, land use, pollution...animal rights isnt to the detriment of humans, but can potentially enrich and empower our lives.

Amen, Brother!

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i just think that in a future anarchist society the tendency is likely to go towards veganism, because humans are not naturally arseholes.

You'd think so, wouldn't ya?! roll eyes

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Spartacus
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May 16 2005 18:29

well surely the fact that animals react in any non-mechanical way to the threat of death shows that they do have some limited conception of life and self. if they didn't they would bother to run away, fight back or even make bleating noises when a predator as about to attack would they? and the only animals that would survive would be the ones with the toughest skin against the predators walking around randomly eating anything it saw. hence the difference between a cow and a tree, seeing as when you approach a tree with a chainsaw it doesn't lash out like a womping willow or rip up its roots and sprint off into the sunset, where as if you do the same to a cow it'll run away, or if it's psychotic charge you. it's things like that which cause people to empathise with animals.

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i would find it incredible for a human to be annoyed at having it's life ended let alone a fucking pig, unless you know something I don't know

YOU obviously haven't seen the lonewolf and cub series or the shogun assassin cut together with bad dubbing version of it (or indeed listened to enough wu tang clan):

some guy dying wrote:
it is said that when cut in a certain place on your neck, a sound is created like the whistling winter wind. i had always hoped to kill someone like that, but for it to happen to me is... ridiculous!
Lazlo_Woodbine
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May 16 2005 18:32

If it ever turns out that dolphins, or white mice are more 'conscious' than humans, will all the people favouring this dodgy sub-hegelian argument start to favour dolphin life over and above that of humans?

"I mean, a human isn't even aware that it's existing in 9 dimensions, Prosthetnic, so we're not really taking away much."

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Volin
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May 16 2005 19:04
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the existance of self consciousness means that pain and suffering are much more profound.

You're accusing people of bad arguments, mate? Even by the standards of the extremely fallible mirror test some animals are capable of "self-awareness" in that they

re cog nise

themselves in a mirror.

Do you assign them "animal rights"? Probably not; for your argument is based on the superiority of the human being - ie. you. Let's face it, if it was about the suffering of the animals involved we'd all be vegans by now.

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madashell
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May 16 2005 20:44
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
If it ever turns out that dolphins, or white mice are more 'conscious' than humans, will all the people favouring this dodgy sub-hegelian argument start to favour dolphin life over and above that of humans?

"I mean, a human isn't even aware that it's existing in 9 dimensions, Prosthetnic, so we're not really taking away much."

No, for the following reasons:

  1. It's not going to happen
  2. Its not about what animal is "more conscious" whatever that means, but rather the capability for abstract thought and an understanding of mortality and liberty, which we know as fact human beings posses (or the potential for them)
  3. I'm hardly going to value the life of anything over that of me and mine, which disqualifies considering human life as insubordinate to any other form of life.
  4. It's not going to happen

[/]

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madashell
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May 16 2005 20:46

More on the uniqueness of the human mind

Lazlo_Woodbine
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May 16 2005 21:25
madashell wrote:
I'm hardly going to value the life of anything over that of me and mine, which disqualifies considering human life as insubordinate to any other form of life.

I think you mean 'subordinate', there?

In general, you've got a classically individualist position -- defend me and my family; you've simply included all humans as your family in order to update it to a nominally 'humanist' position.

Ecological solidarity means recognising, however, that we are not alone on this ball of rock, and that life is interdependent to a large extent.

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Volin
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May 17 2005 11:59
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Its not about what animal is "more conscious" whatever that means, but rather the capability for abstract thought and an understanding of mortality and liberty, which we know as fact human beings posses (or the potential for them)

This is getting hilarious! So the one thing that sets humans apart from animals (and thus apparently allows us to trample on the rest of the animal world) is....

because we understand mortality, freedom and liberty!!! Sweet irony.

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madashell
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May 17 2005 12:17
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
madashell wrote:
I'm hardly going to value the life of anything over that of me and mine, which disqualifies considering human life as insubordinate to any other form of life.

I think you mean 'subordinate', there?

Yes, yes I did, not paying attention embarrassed

Quote:
In general, you've got a classically individualist position -- defend me and my family; you've simply included all humans as your family in order to update it to a nominally 'humanist' position.

There's a little more to it than that, but yes, that is a large part of my philosoph. And that, by definition is a humanist position btw.

Quote:
Ecological solidarity means recognising, however, that we are not alone on this ball of rock, and that life is interdependent to a large extent.

I do recognise that life is interdependent, for example, animals eat other animals. It is impossible for any species to exist on Earth without competing with other species.

nosos
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May 17 2005 12:26
madashell wrote:
[*]Its not about what animal is "more conscious" whatever that means, but rather the capability for abstract thought and an understanding of mortality and liberty, which we know as fact human beings posses (or the potential for them)

That's me convinced!!!!

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Volin
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May 17 2005 12:41
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And that, by definition is a humanist position btw.

"In addition to "Man's inhumanity to man" there is humanity's massive, cruel exploitation of non-human animals for food, clothing, experiments and what passes for amusement. Protests against exploitation of animals have come from many quarters, but within the freethought tradition from Shelley and Henry S. Salt. More than half a century ago Britain's National Secular Society added a better deal for animals to its aims and objects.

Yet not so long ago a humanist said to me, "I don't think animals have anything to do with humanism." We were talking about the concept of animal rights. [This is not humanism but] a sort of retrograde human chauvinism."

From the core principles of Humanism;

"H6. Humans do not have a right of dominion over animals and the environment, it being recognized that humans along with many other species of animals do change their environment by their very existence.

What this principle asserts is that the Biblical right extended to humans to exercise "dominion" over animals and even nature is not a human right at all. Humanists should not restrict their horizons to humans alone and should respect this right of existence. This principle should not be taken as a proscription against modifying the environment. Any species, human or animal, has to make certain modifications in the natural environment to accommodate its basic living requirements. What the principle asserts is that wanton and deliberate destruction of animal life and ecosystems is not an automatic right of humans. At the very least it must include what now described as ecological conservation and responsibility, but a case can be made to take it much further."

Quote:
I do recognise that life is interdependent, for example, animals eat other animals. It is impossible for any species to exist on Earth without competing with other species.

And yet you completely miss the point that it is possible for humans not to eat/dominate/abuse other animals. That interdependence does not mean its ok to apply "animal ethics" or barbarism to the planet but that we are all connected; that what we do to them necessarily harms and affects us.

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madashell
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May 17 2005 19:27
nosos wrote:
madashell wrote:
[*]Its not about what animal is "more conscious" whatever that means, but rather the capability for abstract thought and an understanding of mortality and liberty, which we know as fact human beings posses (or the potential for them)

That's me convinced!!!!

No need to be sarky if you aint even going to adress the point made.

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madashell
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May 17 2005 19:31
Volin wrote:
Quote:
And that, by definition is a humanist position btw.

"In addition to "Man's inhumanity to man" there is humanity's massive, cruel exploitation of non-human animals for food, clothing, experiments and what passes for amusement. Protests against exploitation of animals have come from many quarters, but within the freethought tradition from Shelley and Henry S. Salt. More than half a century ago Britain's National Secular Society added a better deal for animals to its aims and objects.

Yet not so long ago a humanist said to me, "I don't think animals have anything to do with humanism." We were talking about the concept of animal rights. [This is not humanism but] a sort of retrograde human chauvinism."

From the core principles of Humanism;

"H6. Humans do not have a right of dominion over animals and the environment, it being recognized that humans along with many other species of animals do change their environment by their very existence.

What this principle asserts is that the Biblical right extended to humans to exercise "dominion" over animals and even nature is not a human right at all. Humanists should not restrict their horizons to humans alone and should respect this right of existence. This principle should not be taken as a proscription against modifying the environment. Any species, human or animal, has to make certain modifications in the natural environment to accommodate its basic living requirements. What the principle asserts is that wanton and deliberate destruction of animal life and ecosystems is not an automatic right of humans. At the very least it must include what now described as ecological conservation and responsibility, but a case can be made to take it much further."

Where did I say that I consider animal welfare and environmental destruction irrelevant? I merely pointed out that a preference for humanity and a recognition of the shared human condition are the foundation of humanism, so its not just "nominally" humanist of me to say that I believe in solidarity with human beings in general, it is humanist.

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Volin
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May 17 2005 22:28

you're right, Humanists generally do hold human beings as the centre of creation -a complete throwback from Christianity, which a lot of Humanism is (and thus bunk.). But even with that many Humanists and some in particular have fought a remarkable defence for animals and their rights. Its not ok to be mildly in favour of "animal welfare", the present animal oppression (whether you believe in the godliness of your own existence or not) is unnacceptable.

Humanism and Animal Rights