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Ethics of Beef Production.

Should we breed cows for eating?  

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Should we breed cows for eating?

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      10


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I am only saying that their lives are worth something, and we should take that into account.

I think anyone who loves to eat beef thinks cows are worth something. Further, I think anyone who argues for the humane treatment of cattle raised for food is acknowledging that their lives are worth something and are taking that into account by choosing beef that is raised so. Are you asking for more of an acknowledgement than that?

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I think anyone who loves to eat beef thinks cows are worth something. Further, I think anyone who argues for the humane treatment of cattle raised for food is acknowledging that their lives are worth something and are taking that into account by choosing beef that is raised so. Are you asking for more of an acknowledgement than that?

That may be the position he's moving toward, but I feel like he has been asking for much more than that.

 

And since I don't think I've said it yet I'll say so now; I am all for the ethical treatment of animals. I do however feel that position is miles away from "every living being has a right to live".

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And since I don't think I've said it yet I'll say so now; I am all for the ethical treatment of animals. I do however feel that position is miles away from "every living being has a right to live".

Agreed. Such arguments seem compassionate and enlightened, but they are extremely untenable. If everything had a "right" to live, the police would be very busy.

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Have I been so unreasonable that you feel the need to warn me about treating you fairly?

 

Generally speaking the person making the claim needs to support their position. You've made several claims about rights posessed by animals and other living things, as well as ethics that you claim are obvious. I've questioned those claims, including a whole slew of questions in the last post that you did not address. Instead, you asked me to show why you are wrong. It would help if you would also answer the questions put to you.

 

As far as me explaining why I have a problem with your statement that "every living being has a right to live", you could read my previous posts. I've raised a number of issues that make me question your statement. If you think I'm wrong, just refute them, and provide evidence and argument.

 

However, my position on "every living being has a right to live" can be summed up as follows:

 

'Rights' is a concept created by man. There are no rights unless they are granted, such as by a king to his subjects, a group of people to themselves, or possibly by a God. Rights are generally written down, often in forms such as constitutions. Everyone does not have the same rights. In the US even people can have their right to life taken away from them.

 

Rights are for the most part meaningless unless there is something in place to enforce the rights, such as a government. In the US, the right to free speech wouldn't mean much if it couldn't be enforced by the police, courts, and laws.

 

Animals do not have rights. People can enforce ethical treatment of animals (which I guess could be considered animal rights) and do so regularly. If animals had the right to life then there would be some type of laws or enforcement in place. Since dogs and cats are regularly euthenized, mosquitos are sprayed, and pigs and cows are turned into sausages, I think that makes it pretty clear that, at least in the parts of the world I am familiar with, animals do not have the right to life. Most certainly, a rabbit who has been eaten by a hawk has not had his rights violated.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights

 

 

http://www.freerepub...ws/973633/posts

 

Given all of the above, it is my position that it is not true that "every living being has a right to live".

 

Good, I understand where you are coming from, and I totally agree that by the definition of "rights" animals don't have them in a majority of places. What I am proposing, is a system based on what animals should have. They should have the opportunity to live, and therefore I am comparing the killing of cows on what the animals should deserve, and not what they recognised rights are. Sorry for the confusion. I will call these "ideal ought rights" as they ought to have them in an ideal world. So I am saying whether killing these cows benefits or hinders the ideal ought rights of the cows. Should we or shouldn't we?

 

P.S: I am sorry if it seemed like I was being aggressive and ignorant. I didn't mean to come off that way.

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Good, I understand where you are coming from, and I totally agree that by the definition of "rights" animals don't have them in a majority of places. What I am proposing, is a system based on what animals should have. They should have the opportunity to live, and therefore I am comparing the killing of cows on what the animals should deserve, and not what they recognised rights are. Sorry for the confusion. I will call these "ideal ought rights" as they ought to have them in an ideal world. So I am saying whether killing these cows benefits or hinders the ideal ought rights of the cows. Should we or shouldn't we?

 

P.S: I am sorry if it seemed like I was being aggressive and ignorant. I didn't mean to come off that way.

 

 

We, human beings, created cows, pigs, chickens and other food animals for the express purpose of eating them. We did that to make meat more commonly available and so we didn't have to harvest animals from the wild. It's not unethical for crows to kill and eat everything from other birds to small reptiles and insects. It's not unethical for a cat to kill small animals even though domestic cats seldom even eat them. Animal life has to kill to live Why is it unethical to provide food for ourselves?

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Good, I understand where you are coming from, and I totally agree that by the definition of "rights" animals don't have them in a majority of places. What I am proposing, is a system based on what animals should have. They should have the opportunity to live, and therefore I am comparing the killing of cows on what the animals should deserve, and not what they recognised rights are. Sorry for the confusion. I will call these "ideal ought rights" as they ought to have them in an ideal world. So I am saying whether killing these cows benefits or hinders the ideal ought rights of the cows. Should we or shouldn't we?

Well, that would depend on whose ideal world we are talking about. In a cow's ideal world, the killing of cows hinders their IORs. In an ideal world for me I would have steaks produced in my back yard.

 

The problem is that cows don't get to participate in these discussions. So from my perspective what we are really talking about is an ideal world for people. In our ideal world do we want cows to live a long and fruitful life or do we want them turned into veal? Do we treat them well or do we maximize profit regardless of the effect on the cow?

 

I think what most people are saying in this thread is that we want our hamburgers, but we don't want to cause unnecessary suffering of cows to get them. To me this is a very reasonable position. Crows eat meat, lions eat meat, people eat meat. We are all the same in that regard. We did not choose to be this way, nature chose it for us. The difference is that people can, and often do, treat their dinner with a little more consideration. We don't have to stop being who we are, but since we have empathy, we can minimize the suffering of those we eat.

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What I am proposing, is a system based on what animals should have. They should have the opportunity to live, and therefore I am comparing the killing of cows on what the animals should deserve, and not what they recognised rights are. Sorry for the confusion. I will call these "ideal ought rights" as they ought to have them in an ideal world. So I am saying whether killing these cows benefits or hinders the ideal ought rights of the cows. Should we or shouldn't we?

We can raise millions of cows who live for a while before being eaten, or we can stop raising them and let them all die off. How long do you think it will take without us to feed and care for them? Or do you really expect us to take care of that many cows for no reason other than we ought to? We take care of cats and dogs without expecting to eat them, but I don't think that would work with cows.

 

Think about what you're asking here. Do I need to say it again? Either all these cows are bred to be eaten, or only a fraction of them can live and somehow be kept for no reason, or introduced to the wild to be eaten by something else. If you have a viable alternative, I'd like to hear it.

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We can raise millions of cows who live for a while before being eaten, or we can stop raising them and let them all die off. How long do you think it will take without us to feed and care for them? Or do you really expect us to take care of that many cows for no reason other than we ought to? We take care of cats and dogs without expecting to eat them, but I don't think that would work with cows.

 

Think about what you're asking here. Do I need to say it again? Either all these cows are bred to be eaten, or only a fraction of them can live and somehow be kept for no reason, or introduced to the wild to be eaten by something else. If you have a viable alternative, I'd like to hear it.

 

I am not saying that the animals should be kept for no reason, I am not saying that. I am just saying in an Ideal ethical world, not ideal for humans or cows, but ideal for ethics, everything would live as long as possible and nicely. I am not saying, keep these cows for no reason and not eat them, I repeat, I am not saying any of that. I agree with you, if you look at my original statement, I am saying exactly that. Also I am not saying it is unethical for things to eat other things to survive, as I have said before. I feel I am being attacked for things I have not said, by numerous people. All I am saying is we should try to max out the ethics in this scenario, so it's best for everyone, all living things.

Edited by 1=1

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I am not saying that the animals should be kept for no reason, I am not saying that. I am just saying in an Ideal ethical world, not ideal for humans or cows, but ideal for ethics, everything would live as long as possible and nicely. I am not saying, keep these cows for no reason and not eat them, I repeat, I am not saying any of that. I agree with you, if you look at my original statement, I am saying exactly that. Also I am not saying it is unethical for things to eat other things to survive, as I have said before. I feel I am being attacked for things I have not said, by numerous people. All I am saying is we should try to max out the ethics in this scenario, so it's best for everyone, all living things.

To me this is the problem. You have decided that in an ideal world everything would live as long as possible. You are not defending that position, you are making that statement as if it is true and accepted by all. Clearly it is not accepted by all. What most people are doing is telling you why they don't support that position, from logical, ethical, and practical perspectives. No one is attacking you, they are attacking that premise.

 

I think it is time for you to make an argument stating why we should accept the premise that in an ideal world everything would live as long as possible. And when you do, please address the issues that Phi, Moon and I have raised.

 

All I am saying is we should try to max out the ethics in this scenario, so it's best for everyone, all living things.

Everyone is saying this. The difference is that to you, maxing out the ethics means cows more or less die of old age, and for many of us it means they are not mistreated up to the point that we decide to put a bullet in their head and eat them.

Edited by zapatos

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To me this is the problem. You have decided that in an ideal world everything would live as long as possible. You are not defending that position, you are making that statement as if it is true and accepted by all. Clearly it is not accepted by all. What most people are doing is telling you why they don't support that position, from logical, ethical, and practical perspectives. No one is attacking you, they are attacking that premise.

 

I think it is time for you to make an argument stating why we should accept the premise that in an ideal world everything would live as long as possible. And when you do, please address the issues that Phi, Moon and I have raised.

 

 

Everyone is saying this. The difference is that to you, maxing out the ethics means cows more or less die of old age, and for many of us it means they are not mistreated up to the point that we decide to put a bullet in their head and eat them.

 

First, of all thanks for being reasonable, not saying you were not before, but thanks in general.

 

I guess I was making the mistake of leaving the logic in my head and not putting it out in my posts (rather foolish). So, I would like to think that everyone agrees that for a cows life to be ethically maxed, for the cow, the cow would live the best life possible for that cow. If the cow is literally living the best life possible, than logic would dictate that you could not be any more ethical to it. You can't make the cow's life any better. So, hence, a perfect life for all beings would mean that the ethicality would be maxed for all the beings included. I know this may not be probable or even possible, but I would think If everything was at max happiness for the longest amount of time, you couldn't make anything better. This is a hypothetical situation.

 

The difference is that to you, maxing out the ethics means cows more or less die of old age, and for many of us it means they are not mistreated up to the point that we decide to put a bullet in their head and eat them.

You are accusing me of something I never said, I said for the cow that means they more or less die of old age, but if you take the cow and the human into the equation, that would not be most ethical. You would have to balance out the worth of the life of the cow, and the worth of the need of the human. So, as I have said numerous times, I don't want everything to live forever, because that might not be best, in the real world.

 

Thank you for your time, and I am glad I am being challenged in my arguments and ideas.

 

EDIT: I didn't mean to imply I was going to leave the discussion or end the thread by saying "thank you for your time"

Edited by 1=1

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I want to join this discussion by proposing the hypothesis that there is no ethical argument for eating a animal at all.

 

I like to see it this way: An alien species occupies the world and slaves mankind. They let us work and kill us to eat us. We scream and try to resist and fight back, but there are so overpowered that we don't have any chances. So we ask them completely outraged "How can you do that to us? Don't you see that we are sentient beings? Why are you slaving us and killing our children?" And then the aliens relay that it is just logical for them to do that because there are so much smarter, and better, and valuable. They claim that they are not killing the children because they are evil but young humans just taste so well!

 

Of curse, from this perspective we can say, that the extraterrestrials don't behave ethically. But that is just the same perspective like a chicken could have about our behavior.

zapatos would probably argue, that our perspective it the one which counts, because we can make it count:

Well, that would depend on whose ideal world we are talking about. In a cow's ideal world, the killing of cows hinders their IORs. In an ideal world for me I would have steaks produced in my back yard.

 

I would like to answer this by the reference to the philosopher Peter Singer who said that it is an important step of development to accept that an interest is objectively not more important just because it is my interest.

In practice I guess I would not agree with him, because I am so extremely more important than some random stranger (at least for myself :D), but in this case we are talking about ethics. And when we talk about ethics, our goal must be to identify what is right and what is wrong in general.

 

 

Crows eat meat, lions eat meat, people eat meat. We are all the same in that regard. We did not choose to be this way, nature chose it for us.
Animal life has to kill to live Why is it unethical to provide food for ourselves?

The problem is just that we are now so developed that we have the ability to chose not to eat meat. We don't need biological and we don't need it logistically because we get everything we want. With this ability comes at least the responsibility to reconsider our doing!

PMzapatos, you have made the step to say that we have the ability to tread animals better and we can sympathize with them, so we should use that ability. But can you think one step further? From not being cruel to not being deadly?

 

At the end, I have to thank Phi for All for his comment "I think anyone who loves to eat beef thinks cows are worth something." which is still making me laugh. :D

 

P.S.: Please don't be offended if I used some words that might be offend you :D I am not a native speaker and I tend to combine words unintentionally that might be considered as aggressive even if I didn't mean it this way.

Edited by Mafio

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I guess I was making the mistake of leaving the logic in my head and not putting it out in my posts (rather foolish). So, I would like to think that everyone agrees that for a cows life to be ethically maxed, for the cow, the cow would live the best life possible for that cow. If the cow is literally living the best life possible, than logic would dictate that you could not be any more ethical to it. You can't make the cow's life any better. So, hence, a perfect life for all beings would mean that the ethicality would be maxed for all the beings included. I know this may not be probable or even possible, but I would think If everything was at max happiness for the longest amount of time, you couldn't make anything better. This is a hypothetical situation.

 

Ok, I think I'm getting a better idea of where you are coming from. Something that is still confusing me though is your use of the word ethics. Ethics is really about the concept of right and wrong. When you talk about a cow's life being ethically maxed I'm not sure what that means. It sounds as if you might be saying that from a cow's perspective (or the perspective of any living thing), living the longest life consistent with "quality" (I was going to say happiness, but I'm not sure cows can be happy) would be the best thing from the cow's perspective. Is this correct? If so, I can certainly agree with that.

 

You are accusing me of something I never said, I said for the cow that means they more or less die of old age, but if you take the cow and the human into the equation, that would not be most ethical. You would have to balance out the worth of the life of the cow, and the worth of the need of the human. So, as I have said numerous times, I don't want everything to live forever, because that might not be best, in the real world.

 

Right, I should have said "it appears as if you are saying...". Which it did to me. Again, I think some of the confusion comes from originally saying cows had rights, or to seemingly apply ethics to cows rather than people.

 

So, if I can try to summarize what I think you are saying...

 

Given that it is in the best interest of cows (and by extension, all living things) to live as long as possible consistent with a "quality" life, how do we reconcile the competing interests of the cow's maximized life with the maximized life of humans?

 

Am I on track with what you are saying?

 

I want to join this discussion by proposing the hypothesis that there is no ethical argument for eating a animal at all.

 

I like to see it this way: An alien species occupies the world and slaves mankind. They let us work and kill us to eat us. We scream and try to resist and fight back, but there are so overpowered that we don't have any chances. So we ask them completely outraged "How can you do that to us? Don't you see that we are sentient beings? Why are you slaving us and killing our children?" And then the aliens relay that it is just logical for them to do that because there are so much smarter, and better, and valuable. They claim that they are not killing the children because they are evil but young humans just taste so well!

 

Of curse, from this perspective we can say, that the extraterrestrials don't behave ethically. But that is just the same perspective like a chicken could have about our behavior.

No, I'd have to disagree here. Assuming the aliens have the concept of ethics, they may very well be acting ethically. If they believe it is right to eat little kids, then they are acting ethically. Of course I'm screwed, but that does not mean they did anything wrong. Getting back to the hawk and the rabbit, do you thing the hawk is acting unethically by eating the rabbit? Am I unethical for shooting the intruder who is threatening my family? The act of killing is not inherently unethical.

zapatos would probably argue, that our perspective it the one which counts, because we can make it count:

 

 

I would like to answer this by the reference to the philosopher Peter Singer who said that it is an important step of development to accept that an interest is objectively not more important just because it is my interest.

In practice I guess I would not agree with him, because I am so extremely more important than some random stranger (at least for myself :D), but in this case we are talking about ethics. And when we talk about ethics, our goal must be to identify what is right and what is wrong in general.

 

The problem is just that we are now so developed that we have the ability to chose not to eat meat. We don't need biological and we don't need it logistically because we get everything we want. With this ability comes at least the responsibility to reconsider our doing!

Which is exactly what we are doing! We are considering what we are doing and determining if it is ethical. But let's not just jump from 'we don't need it' to 'therefore we shouldn't get it'. You'll have to prove that point.

PMzapatos, you have made the step to say that we have the ability to tread animals better and we can sympathize with them, so we should use that ability. But can you think one step further? From not being cruel to not being deadly?

Absolutely not. I kill everyday, and so do you. Whether it is bacteria, mosquitos, lettuce, or cows (indirectly). You're going to have to work much harder than just a "suggestion" to get me on board with that proposition!

Edited by zapatos

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No, I'd have to disagree here. Assuming the aliens have the concept of ethics, they may very well be acting ethically. If they believe it is right to eat little kids, then they are acting ethically. Of course I'm screwed, but that does not mean they did anything wrong. Getting back to the hawk and the fox, do you thing the hawk is acting unethically by eating the rabbit? Am I unethical for shooting the intruder who is threatening my family? The act of killing is not inherently unethical.

 

Of curse the hawk is not acting unethically, but that is because he has no choice. The biological system of the hawk is not able to function without killing, but that is just another state of development. Evolution treads a group in which the members are not killing each other better then a grope in which they are. I use this consideration to determine, that this kind of group is at a higher point of evolution, because it is just logical.

This is of course only applying to group-selection and not for individuals. In fact, individuals or particular one specie is in general advanced by the ability to eat others, and since it is very unlikely that we get threaten by any other specie in the near future, it is obviously not affecting us how we tread other creatures.

But that dose not make it ethically correct.

I am not saying that the ability to not do something and the ability to question something should automatically lead not doing the questioned, but in this case I think I dose. Objectively my wishes, hopes, interests are not more important and anyone else's just because they are mine. Maybe they are in reality because I am fighting for them and I am giving a damn about other people; but in the ethic theory they can not be considered as more important.

Obviously you can connect the importance to the ability of the wisher, so you could say a human who wants to live is more important than an animal because the human can do more things, is a greater support for the society or anything else. But I don't want to discuss that, because the difference between human and animal has become so small since Darwin and therefor we should use this assessment only in individual situations and not in general.

 

You are right when you say, that killing is not inherently unethical, but killing animals for eating them when it would be much easier not to do (1) means that you say, that the life of an animal is just as valuable as the taste sensation you are getting from it which lasts just minutes.

And this equation is, as far as I concluded correctly, indefensible.

 

Absolutely not. I kill everyday, and so do you. Whether it is bacteria, mosquitos, lettuce, or cows (indirectly).

That is just the point. Which of them you have a choice? You can't stop killing bacteria. You can't stop killing lettuce while you want to survive. You probably could stop killing mosquitoes although you might consider your life without scratching as more important that the life of a mosquito. But you can absolutely stop killing cows by just eating something else.

Which leads me to "You'll have to prove that point."... When you (also) mean that I have to prove that we don't need meat to be absolutely functionally I want to encourage you to check out google for more information on this topic. I am not a biologist nor a medic, but you will find many of these who say that the human does not require it to be absolute healthy.

You're going to have to work much harder than just a "suggestion" to get me on board with that proposition!

I would say 'Challenge accepted.' but since I have absolutely no intention to convert anyone to be a vegetarian or anything else, I think that might be inappropriate. But of course I will give you as many arguments as you want to hear ;)

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You can't stop killing lettuce while you want to survive.

 

[snip]

 

But you can absolutely stop killing cows by just eating something else.

I could stop eating lettuce very easily. There are many other vegetables I can choose instead.

 

If I stop eating beef and eat more chicken and fish and pork, someone would come along and tell me I'm morally wrong for eating those. Why? Because they're closer to us in taxonomy than plants? The argument eventually becomes silly. I'm perfectly fine with drawing an arbitrary line that says cows aren't enough like us to make it morally wrong to eat them. Orangutans are much closer to humans, so we shouldn't raise them to eat. In between there you can have your moral gray area, and I can have my filet.

 

Every living thing in our society has value and worth, but I don't believe everything has an automatic right to live. However, once we assign a worth or a value to a living thing, I believe it's up to us to give meaning to that life and treat it with as much compassion and consideration as possible. Even if the value in that life is its eventual death in order to feed us.

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A request. It looks like you and changing font regularly. Don't know if it is you or the sytem, but if it is you I would appreciate it if you did not do so. When I respond I see the coding that makes that happen and it makes it difficult to to break up your post to respond to different parts separately. Thanks! :)

 

Of curse the hawk is not acting unethically, but that is because he has no choice. The biological system of the hawk is not able to function without killing, but that is just another state of development. Evolution treads a group in which the members are not killing each other better then a grope in which they are. I use this consideration to determine, that this kind of group is at a higher point of evolution, because it is just logical.

This is of course only applying to group-selection and not for individuals. In fact, individuals or particular one specie is in general advanced by the ability to eat others, and since it is very unlikely that we get threaten by any other specie in the near future, it is obviously not affecting us how we tread other creatures.

But that dose not make it ethically correct.

I am not saying that the ability to not do something and the ability to question something should automatically lead not doing the questioned, but in this case I think I dose. Objectively my wishes, hopes, interests are not more important and anyone else's just because they are mine. Maybe they are in reality because I am fighting for them and I am giving a damn about other people; but in the ethic theory they can not be considered as more important.

Obviously you can connect the importance to the ability of the wisher, so you could say a human who wants to live is more important than an animal because the human can do more things, is a greater support for the society or anything else. But I don't want to discuss that, because the difference between human and animal has become so small since Darwin and therefor we should use this assessment only in individual situations and not in general.

 

 

That is just the point. Which of them you have a choice? You can't stop killing bacteria. You can't stop killing lettuce while you want to survive. You probably could stop killing mosquitoes although you might consider your life without scratching as more important that the life of a mosquito. But you can absolutely stop killing cows by just eating something else.

I would say 'Challenge accepted.' but since I have absolutely no intention to convert anyone to be a vegetarian or anything else, I think that might be inappropriate. But of course I will give you as many arguments as you want to hear ;)

 

From the bolded points you made it sounds as if you believe:

a. Ethics come in to play when you have a choice.

b. My wishes are not more important than the cow's wishes (and presumably the wishes of other living things)

c. It is ok to kill if necessary for survival.

d. Some killing cannot be avoided while other killing can be avoided.

 

Just trying to understand your overall position better.

 

If my wishes are not more important than the wishes of others, why is it ok to kill lettuce?

How do you reconcile 'my wishes are not more important than lettuce', and 'but it is ok to kill for survival'? Why is my survival more important than the survival of the lettuce? You said in point b. that my wishes are not more important than yours.

How do you justify driving a car if you know bugs will be killed on the windshield?

How do you justify killing any living thing on purpose, such as lettuce and mosquitos?

How do you justify doing anything at all knowing that just by staying alive, other forms of life are going to die?

 

Can you kill if convenient? If required for quality of life? If required to survive?

If there is some justification for killing, does it apply to bacteria? plants? Animals? People?

Is it ok to kill sentient and non-sentient beings? If either, why not the other?

 

The whole point of the questions is to find out from you, Where is your line between ethical and not ethical?

 

I get that you say killing a cow is crossing the line, but how did you arrive at that location? what were the factors?

 

You are right when you say, that killing is not inherently unethical, but killing animals for eating them when it would be much easier not to do (1) means that you say, that the life of an animal is just as valuable as the taste sensation you are getting from it which lasts just minutes.

And this equation is, as far as I concluded correctly, indefensible.

No, it doesn't mean that. That was a pretty big leap.

Which leads me to "You'll have to prove that point."... When you (also) mean that I have to prove that we don't need meat to be absolutely functionally I want to encourage you to check out google for more information on this topic. I am not a biologist nor a medic, but you will find many of these who say that the human does not require it to be absolute healthy.

I didn't say you'd have to prove we need meat to be absolutely functional, I said you have to prove the logical jump from "'we don't need it' to 'therefore we shouldn't get it'."

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I could stop eating lettuce very easily. There are many other vegetables I can choose instead.

 

If I stop eating beef and eat more chicken and fish and pork, someone would come along and tell me I'm morally wrong for eating those. Why? Because they're closer to us in taxonomy than plants? The argument eventually becomes silly. I'm perfectly fine with drawing an arbitrary line that says cows aren't enough like us to make it morally wrong to eat them. Orangutans are much closer to humans, so we shouldn't raise them to eat. In between there you can have your moral gray area, and I can have my filet.

 

 

That is a good point of course, and I have to admit that the usage of the exact word "lettuce" was not as useful as rhetorically intended. I obviously mean non-human-like things (to not say not-living things...). But nevertheless where to make the line is a good question.

To make a line we have to accept some facts:

1. There must be a line.

2. Animals must be rather inside than plants.

 

Okay... maybe that are not facts, but hypothesis I want to prove now:

1: There must be a line because saying there is no line means you can kill everything (including humans which definitely would not be useful), or you must not kill anything (which would lead to starvation).

So there must be a line drawn in the gray area, yes, but in science it is quite hard to do such thing because it is not 1 or 0...

So I say 2.

2: Including animals because they are more human-like than pants seems random, but is in fact natural. We are more concerned about our family than some stranger. We are more interested in the wellbeing of our local comrades than the comrades of the comrades of the comrade.

By this logic it means things that are more like us and more in our action-space are more important than others. We have a well defined ranking by this, which might be not perfect, but useful for this. And of course a dog has measurable more in common with us than a banana.

 

So... We should (theoretically) do as much as we can to kill as little as possible to do the best ethical possible. Doing the ethically best thing that is possible means doing the absolute right thing, because something I can not do can not be a lack of ethical behavior just because I can not behave otherwise.

 

This is abstracting our problem to one simple question: What can we do?

Stopping factory farming is a good answer, but stopping eating meat at all is a bit better. Stopping eating at all is however stupid and not any kind of answer, because on long time, you can not do it.

 

A request. It looks like you and changing font regularly. Don't know if it is you or the sytem, but if it is you I would appreciate it if you did not do so. When I respond I see the coding that makes that happen and it makes it difficult to to break up your post to respond to different parts separately. Thanks!

 

 

Sorry, is there any way to just work with the source? Because this wysiwyg editor which accepts BB-Code and on-screen-formations is making me crazy :D

Edited by Mafio

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Okay... maybe that are not facts, but hypothesis I want to prove now:

1: There must be a line because saying there is no line means you can kill everything (including humans which definitely would not be useful), or you must not kill anything (which would lead to starvation).

So there must be a line drawn in the gray area, yes, but in science it is quite hard to do such thing because it is not 1 or 0...

So I say 2.

2: Including animals because they are more human-like than pants seems random, but is in fact natural. We are more concerned about our family than some stranger. We are more interested in the wellbeing of our local comrades than the comrades of the comrades of the comrade.

By this logic it means things that are more like us and more in our action-space are more important than others. We have a well defined ranking by this, which might be not perfect, but useful for this. And of course a dog has measurable more in common with us than a banana.

 

So... We should (theoretically) do as much as we can to kill as little as possible to do the best ethical possible. Doing the ethically best thing that is possible means doing the absolute right thing, because something I can not do can not be a lack of ethical behavior just because I can not behave otherwise.

1. I agree, there must be a line.

2. I agree that animals are more human-like than plants. I agree this is natural. But it is still random.

 

I can just as easily say:

1. There must be a line because saying there is no line means you can kill everything

2: Including primates because they are more human-like than cows seems random, but is in fact natural. We are more concerned about our family than some stranger. We are more interested in the wellbeing of our local comrades than the comrades of the comrades of the comrade. [/size]

By this logic it means things that are more like us and more in our action-space are more important than others. We have a well defined ranking by this, which might be not perfect, but useful for this. And of course a primate has measurably more in common with us than a cow.

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From the bolded points you made it sounds as if you believe:

a. Ethics come in to play when you have a choice.

b. My wishes are not more important than the cow's wishes (and presumably the wishes of other living things)

c. It is ok to kill if necessary for survival.

d. Some killing cannot be avoided while other killing can be avoided.

Okay, that is not exactly my logic because it is not logical. :D

a. Yes, absolutely. You can do only things you have the power to do, and by definition you have the ability to behave ethically, therefor the right thing to do is the best thing you can do...

b. Nope, that would be crazy. I say objective ethics means accepting that own wishes are not more important than other wishes because the owner wishes the own wishes. That is a theoretically assumption which is necessary to call the ethics objective. A wish by itself has a certain value, and it is not surprising that I might value my wishes higher than the wish of the cow. But this is not because it is my wish, it is because I consider it as more valuable.

That might be a bit difficult to understand (which is not simplified by my English-skills), but let me try it this way: I am a human and therefor I am an egoist. This is reality. Ethic is an ideal, but it is made by humans which normally don't act perfectly. I would not set my believes at the same value as the believes of the cow, but objectively I should do that. Only by this I can objectively evaluate which interest is the most valuable. And the interest of providing the humanity with knowledge might be a better one than running down that hill and making many little cows...

c. It is not always okay, but I would do it mostly. Killing for survival is just natural and when my life would be in danger I would do everything to get it out there. The one thing that could make it not okay would be a reaction of your defense which would lead to more dying. For example the Mafia wants to kill you, but you kill the ones that try to kill you, and you know that they are going to kill your whole family now. ... But in this situation many persons would still defend themselves just because of there survival instinct...

d. Yes... And when you combine this with a. you got most of the idea.

 

I get that you say killing a cow is crossing the line, but how did you arrive at that location? what were the factors?

 

No, it doesn't mean that. That was a pretty big leap.

Why? I am not sure I get it... I ask why you eat meat. And I guessed or to be honest presumed that the answer would be because it tastes (which is the usual answer). So the conclusion is that value(life) equals value(taste) which is untrue by default. To argue in any other way I guess I need another answer from you. So, ... why do you eat meat?

I didn't say you'd have to prove we need meat to be absolutely functional, I said you have to prove the logical jump from "'we don't need it' to 'therefore we shouldn't get it'."

Okay, than it was what I first thought and what I now think I have done. ;)

 

I can just as easily say:1. There must be a line because saying there is no line means you can kill everything

2: Including primates because they are more human-like than cows seems random, but is in fact natural. We are more concerned about our family than some stranger. We are more interested in the wellbeing of our local comrades than the comrades of the comrades of the comrade.

[/size]

By this logic it means things that are more like us and more in our action-space are more important than others. We have a well defined ranking by this, which might be not perfect, but useful for this. And of course a primate has measurably more in common with us than a cow.

rolleyes.giflaugh.gif

Not exactly: You can say it, which means you can draw the line by this statement where you want. But I'd like to remind you on this important scentance which is the key to the whole argumentation:

We should do as much as we can to kill as little as possible to do the best ethical possible.

This draws the line pretty well, because you can stop eating meat, but you can not stop eating everything else at the same time!

Edited by Mafio

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Including animals because they are more human-like than pants seems random, but is in fact natural. We are more concerned about our family than some stranger. We are more interested in the wellbeing of our local comrades than the comrades of the comrades of the comrade.

By this logic it means things that are more like us and more in our action-space are more important than others. We have a well defined ranking by this, which might be not perfect, but useful for this. And of course a dog has measurable more in common with us than a banana.

I disagree about it being "natural" to avoid eating anything in your own kingdom, phylum and class. It happens in nature all the time.

 

And I can still be concerned with the well-being of a cow up to the point where it fulfills the reason it was bred and cared for. Again, without me and my other top-shelf predator friends, those cows wouldn't exist. Unless they feed or clothe us or provide companionship, we wouldn't keep them close, and in the wild they'd either kill off other species or be wiped out themselves.

 

If you truly believe a cow is more in your action-space and therefore more important to you than lettuce, then you shouldn't eat beef. Personally, I'd be much more likely to grow vegetables personally than to breed cows. Lettuce is in my action-space much more frequently than cows, but I love the cows moooch more.

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And, your questions which were not explained by correcting b and c:

1 How do you justify driving a car if you know bugs will be killed on the windshield?

2 How do you justify killing any living thing on purpose, such as lettuce and mosquitos?

3 Can you kill if convenient? If required for quality of life? If required to survive?

4 If there is some justification for killing, does it apply to bacteria? plants? Animals? People?

5 Is it ok to kill sentient and non-sentient beings? If either, why not the other?

1 That is in fact an ethical problem, because you could have a life without driving but bug can not live at your windshield. The ethics I concluded would dictate that it is not correct to drive. But as I explained I am not always acting fully ethical because I am also an egoist human. I would like to see car constructors building some kind of air layer hovering over the windshield (even if you think thats blink.gif) biggrin.gifbut until they do it, I keep killing bugs because I can not reach my goals (for example going from A to B) by respecting their life. This is cruel and I don't really want it, but as I said, as an egoistic human I value some of my goals higher than the life of some bugs, and I can share the guild of killing them with the constructor and the society who supports them... biggrin.gif

 

2 Lettuce because i have to, and mosquitos only if it is not optional. Otherwise I normally let them alive. ...

3 I think I can kill for survive (never tested it :D) but normally I would not kill for life quality. Because what quality dose life have if you don't respect the life's quality of others?

4 The justification is just having a choice. Can you not kill bacteria or plants? No. Can you not kill animals and people... indeed.

5 Its okay to "kill" non-sentient beings, but that is just because it fits so nicely in my grey line ^^ When you list beings up in a row from human-like to non-human-like you can make some differences in the category sentient but it is quite hard to make differences in the category non-sentient. So... I have my line just there between the two categories :D

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b. Nope, that would be crazy. I say objective ethics means accepting that own wishes are not more important than other wishes because the owner wishes the own wishes. That is a theoretically assumption which is necessary to call the ethics objective. A wish by itself has a certain value, and it is not surprising that I might value my wishes higher than the wish of the cow. But this is not because it is my wish, it is because I consider it as more valuable.

 

Ok, so correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you just said, you know how to be objective but are instead going to put your wishes first. Is that right? Sort of like what the baby-eating alien is doing? Isn't it just a bit convenient that the person deciding which wishes to enforce chooses his own wishes over that of the other?

 

[/size][/font]

Why? I am not sure I get it... I ask why you eat meat. And I guessed or to be honest presumed that the answer would be because it tastes (which is the usual answer). So the conclusion is that value(life) equals value(taste) which is untrue by default. To argue in any other way I guess I need another answer from you. So, ... why do you eat meat?

 

For reasons associated with survival, calories, nutrition, value, ease, social/family, evolution, economic, gratification, etc. Oh, and taste!!

 

[/size][/font]

rolleyes.giflaugh.gif[/size]

Not exactly: You can say it, which means you can draw the line by this statement where you want. But I'd like to remind you on this important scentance which is the key to the whole argumentation:

You can say sentience is the key, which means you can draw the line by this statement where you want. But I'd like to remind you that sentience is not the key to the whole argument. It is your way of justifying why your line is correct and my line is incorrect. :rolleyes::lol:

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I disagree about it being "natural" to avoid eating anything in your own kingdom, phylum and class. It happens in nature all the time.

It is not about eating, it is about importance and therefor value. You are sad when a friend dies, but you are not when some stranger dies. You are not happy about that sack rice that falls from your shelf but you are not even interested in th sack that falls over somewhere in china.

 

 

And I can still be concerned with the well-being of a cow up to the point where it fulfills the reason it was bred and cared for. Again, without me and my other top-shelf predator friends, those cows wouldn't exist. Unless they feed or clothe us or provide companionship, we wouldn't keep them close, and in the wild they'd either kill off other species or be wiped out themselves.

I strongly disagree with the argument because that would mean that a human baby you create is in your control because it exist just because of you. You can not make a living thing for a reason.

 

 

 

If you truly believe a cow is more in your action-space and therefore more important to you than lettuce, then you shouldn't eat beef. Personally, I'd be much more likely to grow vegetables personally than to breed cows. Lettuce is in my action-space much more frequently than cows, but I love the cows moooch more.

Personally I am not eating beef... but that is not important to this conversation. More important is the definition of action-space. By this I did not intend to mean the area in which you do stuff, but the area in which you can do stuff, or more likely the imaginary area of similarity...

 

 

 

 

Ok, so correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you just said, you know how to be objective but are instead going to put your wishes first. Is that right? Sort of like what the baby-eating alien is doing? Isn't it just a bit convenient that the person deciding which wishes to enforce chooses his own wishes over that of the other?

I know what is right and wrong, but that dose not necessarily mean I do always the right thing. I might be a just villain... But thats not the point. I (like any other human) have the ability to act on the idea of a law (as Kant would say it). This means we can have principles... I try to do what I consider as right. In an ideal world that would be absolutely that what I consider as ethical right. But in this world I can not always _want_ to act like this. Sometimes my wish to go to place B is stronger than my wish to act like I want. In that ideal world, every car would have this thing so I could act like I want and also get what I want. But until then, it might be better to kill bugs if I see no chances of getting to B without killing them...

 

 

For reasons associated with survival, calories, nutrition, value, ease, social/family, evolution, economic, gratification, etc. Oh, and taste!!

 

 

Survival does not require killing animals which would not kill you. Calories can be consumed much better when we would use all the food directly instead of feeding pigs with it and then eating them. By the way, the ration would be 1 to 7 (one meet calorie for seven corn calories). Same argument applies to nutrition. Value is not an argument, and ease is just an argument for the society as it is right now. But this is like saying okay to the nazi regime because it is more easy while discussing with a nazi. That is not an ethical consideration ;) What do you mean with evolution? It is evolutionary better to have the ability to eat everything. That is right, but you would not lose the ability be not doing it. That means until it is proven for many generations that you don't need it. Economic is a real bad argument, because - as I pointed out - you can more economically provide food for humanity when you do it with corn and not with "revised" corn. And economy is supposed to economize, isn't it? And if you mean gratification as in having fun killing, you probably mean it like it tastes good... and this is just the same as the taste :D

 

So... I am still sure that there is NO ethical argument for eating meet, and I am sure, that an ethical discussion requires ethical arguments and nothing else...

You can say that it might be good for the society to keep eating meet (which is wrong because of the starvation which is caused by the food which is given to animals and not humans), but you can not say that it is ethical correct...

You can say sentience is the key, which means you can draw the line by this statement where you want. But I'd like to remind you that sentience is not the key to the whole argument. It is your way of justifying why your line is correct and my line is incorrect.

 

Nope, I am not saying that sentience is the key. I am saying that human-similarity is the key and our goal should be to kill as less as possible and in that order of human-similarity. And this order goes like this: Human, Ape, Monkey, Pig... Plants. You can order the category sensitive but please don't tell me that a banana is more human-like than an apple. So there are very many + 1 category. And following the aim to kill as less as possible I make the only logical cute right between ant (or somethings like that) and Plants in general.

 

 

 

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Right, I should have said "it appears as if you are saying...". Which it did to me. Again, I think some of the confusion comes from originally saying cows had rights, or to seemingly apply ethics to cows rather than people.

 

So, if I can try to summarize what I think you are saying...

 

Given that it is in the best interest of cows (and by extension, all living things) to live as long as possible consistent with a "quality" life, how do we reconcile the competing interests of the cow's maximized life with the maximized life of humans?

 

Am I on track with what you are saying?

 

Yes that's exactly what I am proposing, If a cows ideal "quality" life is equal to say, 0.8, and a humans is 1 (Assuming a human is worth more than a cow), you would try to find the solution that has the highest overall number, the highest being 1.8. So letting the humans eat the cows quickly and painfully, the humans life might be max at 1, but the cows is only 0.1, so the overall is 1.1 which leaves some room for improvement. I hope I am making myself clear with this, I am sorry if I cant convey this idea properly.

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Yes that's exactly what I am proposing, If a cows ideal "quality" life is equal to say, 0.8, and a humans is 1 (Assuming a human is worth more than a cow), you would try to find the solution that has the highest overall number, the highest being 1.8. So letting the humans eat the cows quickly and painfully, the humans life might be max at 1, but the cows is only 0.1, so the overall is 1.1 which leaves some room for improvement. I hope I am making myself clear with this, I am sorry if I cant convey this idea properly.

 

Your idea is simple utilitarianism. You give the being-alive of a cow a value, the being-alive of a human a value, the eating-a-cow a value and then you calculate and propose that an alive cow and an alive human but without the fun of eating-a-cow are at an higher value than human-living + eating-a-cow-fun.

 

I am not a fan of utilitarianism but its quite useful in some cases. But as zapatos allready pointed out: The value of "survival, calories, nutrition, value, ease, social/family, evolution, economic, gratification, and taste" is in his eyes higher than the value of a cow being alive... (If I got that right.)

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It is not about eating, it is about importance and therefor value. You are sad when a friend dies, but you are not when some stranger dies. You are not happy about that sack rice that falls from your shelf but you are not even interested in th sack that falls over somewhere in china.

It IS about eating, for me at least. And you've got to stop conflating cows and people. That's a weak, strawman argument. You are anthropomorphizing creatures we raise for food in order to attach some false sense of identity. For me, it's not morally wrong to raise animals, treat them well, feed them and water them, and then kill them humanely when I need them for food. On the other hand, I would have strong objections to abandoning a species that we had bred for millennia to be docile and non-aggressive and really tasty. The deaths they would face in the wild would be horrible comparatively.

 

I strongly disagree with the argument because that would mean that a human baby you create is in your control because it exist just because of you. You can not make a living thing for a reason.

Oh, now it's HUMAN BABIES I'm growing to control. :blink: Are you suggesting that breeding cows is a slippery slope leading to the control of humans? Or that beef is a gateway food for cannibalism?

 

I can't create a cow. I can raise them, I can even breed them for whatever reason, but creating them is one instance where species does matter.

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