Vegetarian Discussion: Existence - Not "better" Than Never Existing

Existence - Not "better" Than Never Existing
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Immortalist
2011-11-16 11:48:47 EST
On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr." <al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
> than never existing.  It can't be, because no such comparison can be
> made.  Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same reason.
>
> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
> well-being for the entity.  But an entity must exist in order to have a
> welfare state of well-being.  Thus, the comparison between existence and
> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made.  It
> is absurd.

How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
murder of those yea dont like.


George Plimpton
2011-11-16 12:07:56 EST
On 11/16/2011 8:48 AM, Immortalist wrote:
> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr."<al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same reason.
>>
>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have a
>> welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence and
>> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made. It
>> is absurd.
>
> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
> or worse, in the first place

By comparing alternatives, i.e. alternate outcomes, for entities that
exist. We can also speculate about the quality of alternate states of
well-being for entities that might exist. For example, I can speculate
that if a pig comes into existence, it will be better for the pig if it
is given adequate food and water and has sufficient living space, than
if it is not given adequate food and water and is kept confined in
cramped quarters. Of course, that is only speculative, and it only
matters if the pig comes into existence.

What we may *not* logically do is say that it is "better" for the pig to
exist rather than not exist, or vice-versa. All discussion of what is
"better" for a pig, or any other entity, is only applicable for
comparing alternate states of existence.


> and how does this change decisions about
> what will or will not exist?

That's an easy question to answer. If we believe that any livestock
animals that exist will have relatively pleasant lives before being
quickly and painlessly dispatched, rather than having unpleasant lives
ending in prolonged pain and terror, then we might decide not to raise
livestock.


> If we have the ability to decide if
> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
> criteria?

We don't decide on "certain", or particular, people, animals or plants.


> If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
> same debate?

No. Deciding on whether or not to breed livestock into existence at all
is not the same as deciding on abortion. If abortion is undertaken or
considered, the breeding has already occurred. When we talk about the
ethics of animal husbandry, we're not talking about ending animal
pregnancies - we're talking about not starting any in the first place,
such that eventually there will be no livestock as a class.

MarkA
2011-11-16 14:03:53 EST
On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:

> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr." <al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>> than never existing.  It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>> made.  Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same reason.
>>
>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>> well-being for the entity.  But an entity must exist in order to have a
>> welfare state of well-being.  Thus, the comparison between existence and
>> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made.  It
>> is absurd.
>
> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
> murder of those yea dont like.

I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as I
can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.

--
MarkA

If you can read this, you can stop reading now.



Giga2
2011-11-17 05:15:55 EST

"MarkA" <someone@somewhere.invalid> wrote in message
news:pan.2011.11.16.19.03.50.603125@somewhere.invalid...
> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>
>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr." <al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same
>>> reason.
>>>
>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have a
>>> welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence and
>>> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made. It
>>> is absurd.
>>
>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
>> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
>> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
>> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
>> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
>> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
>> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
>> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
>> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
>> murder of those yea dont like.
>
> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as I
> can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.
>
Maybe you just don't remember your previous state?



George Plimpton
2011-11-17 10:03:07 EST
On 11/16/2011 11:03 AM, MarkA wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>
>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr."<al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same reason.
>>>
>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have a
>>> welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence and
>>> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made. It
>>> is absurd.
>>
>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
>> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
>> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
>> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
>> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
>> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
>> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
>> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
>> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
>> murder of those yea dont like.
>
> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as I
> can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.

No, "you" didn't lack anything for billions of years - there was no "you".

Giga2
2011-11-17 12:09:22 EST

"MarkA" <nobody@nowhere.invalid> wrote in message
news:pan.2011.11.17.13.02.52.665385@nowhere.invalid...
> On Thu, 17 Nov 2011 10:15:55 +0000, Giga2 wrote:
>
>>
>> "MarkA" <someone@somewhere.invalid> wrote in message
>> news:pan.2011.11.16.19.03.50.603125@somewhere.invalid...
>>> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr." <al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>>>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>>>>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>>>>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same
>>>>> reason.
>>>>>
>>>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have a
>>>>> welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence
>>>>> and non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made.
>>>>> It is absurd.
>>>>
>>>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
>>>> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
>>>> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
>>>> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
>>>> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
>>>> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
>>>> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
>>>> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
>>>> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
>>>> murder of those yea dont like.
>>>
>>> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as
>>> I can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.
>>>
>> Maybe you just don't remember your previous state?
>
> Very possible. In that case, I don't mind the amnesia, either. However,
> when all the atoms that now currently comprise "me" were scattered all
> over the Universe, it's hard to say how there could have been a "me" to be
> forming memories.
>
Certainly you as you now are. But then again nearly all of the molecules in
your body now were somewhere else a few years ago!



George Plimpton
2011-11-17 13:34:58 EST
On 11/17/2011 2:15 AM, Giga2 <Giga2 wrote:
> "MarkA"<someone@somewhere.invalid> wrote in message
> news:pan.2011.11.16.19.03.50.603125@somewhere.invalid...
>> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>>
>>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr."<al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>>>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>>>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same
>>>> reason.
>>>>
>>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have a
>>>> welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence and
>>>> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made. It
>>>> is absurd.
>>>
>>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
>>> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
>>> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
>>> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
>>> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
>>> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
>>> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
>>> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
>>> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
>>> murder of those yea dont like.
>>
>> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as I
>> can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.
>>
> Maybe you just don't remember your previous state?

There was no previous state. Not existing isn't a state.

Dutch
2011-11-17 15:03:15 EST


"Giga2" <"Giga2" <just(removetheseandaddmatthe end)holme@yahoo.co> wrote in
message news:ja2mt4$t78$1@news.albasani.net...
>
> "MarkA" <someone@somewhere.invalid> wrote in message
> news:pan.2011.11.16.19.03.50.603125@somewhere.invalid...
>> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>>
>>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr." <al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>>>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>>>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same
>>>> reason.
>>>>
>>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have a
>>>> welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence and
>>>> non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made. It
>>>> is absurd.
>>>
>>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
>>> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
>>> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
>>> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
>>> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
>>> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
>>> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
>>> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
>>> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
>>> murder of those yea dont like.
>>
>> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as I
>> can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.
>>
> Maybe you just don't remember your previous state?

In that case you can't say if it was better or worse can you?




MarkA
2011-11-17 15:07:28 EST
On Thu, 17 Nov 2011 07:03:07 -0800, George Plimpton wrote:

> On 11/16/2011 11:03 AM, MarkA wrote:
>> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>>
>>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr."<al.loh...@kfi.com> wrote:
>>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not better
>>>> than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison can be
>>>> made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the same
>>>> reason.
>>>>
>>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have
>>>> a welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between existence
>>>> and non-existence, from the perspective of the entity, cannot be made.
>>>> It is absurd.
>>>
>>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad, better
>>> or worse, in the first place and how does this change decisions about
>>> what will or will not exist? If we have the ability to decide if
>>> certain people, animals and plants will exist or not, wouldn't our
>>> choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and supporting
>>> criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not existing,
>>> aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human abortion the
>>> same debate? If we use your prescription about how to deal with
>>> organisms then it would lead to a justification for infanticide and
>>> murder of those yea dont like.
>>
>> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near as
>> I can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.
>
> No, "you" didn't lack anything for billions of years - there was no "you".

That's what I said. The collection of cognitive experiences that I
identify as "me", and the physical brain that is necessary to create them,
did not exist for billions of years, until about 56 years ago.

You're claiming that it's improper to say that something that only came
into existence recently didn't exist in the past?

--
MarkA
Keeper of Things Put There Only Just The Night Before
About eight o'clock


MarkA
2011-11-17 15:09:01 EST
On Thu, 17 Nov 2011 17:09:22 +0000, Giga2 wrote:

>
> "MarkA" <nobody@nowhere.invalid> wrote in message
> news:pan.2011.11.17.13.02.52.665385@nowhere.invalid...
>> On Thu, 17 Nov 2011 10:15:55 +0000, Giga2 wrote:
>>
>>
>>> "MarkA" <someone@somewhere.invalid> wrote in message
>>> news:pan.2011.11.16.19.03.50.603125@somewhere.invalid...
>>>> On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:48:47 -0800, Immortalist wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> On Jan 21, 10:18 am, "T. Howard Pines, Jr." <al.loh...@kfi.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not
>>>>>> better than never existing. It can't be, because no such comparison
>>>>>> can be made. Nor can existence be worse than never existing, for the
>>>>>> same reason.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In order to say that anything is better or worse for an entity, one
>>>>>> necessarily is talking about two different states of welfare or
>>>>>> well-being for the entity. But an entity must exist in order to have
>>>>>> a welfare state of well-being. Thus, the comparison between
>>>>>> existence and non-existence, from the perspective of the entity,
>>>>>> cannot be made. It is absurd.
>>>>>
>>>>> How can those who exist justify whether something is good, bad,
>>>>> better or worse, in the first place and how does this change
>>>>> decisions about what will or will not exist? If we have the ability
>>>>> to decide if certain people, animals and plants will exist or not,
>>>>> wouldn't our choice in the matter be based upon moral standards and
>>>>> supporting criteria? If humans make choices, about existing or not
>>>>> existing, aren't the various debates about animal welfare and human
>>>>> abortion the same debate? If we use your prescription about how to
>>>>> deal with organisms then it would lead to a justification for
>>>>> infanticide and murder of those yea dont like.
>>>>
>>>> I lacked existence for billions of years before I was born. As near
>>>> as I can tell, I didn't mind it in the least.
>>>>
>>> Maybe you just don't remember your previous state?
>>
>> Very possible. In that case, I don't mind the amnesia, either.
>> However, when all the atoms that now currently comprise "me" were
>> scattered all over the Universe, it's hard to say how there could have
>> been a "me" to be forming memories.
>>
> Certainly you as you now are. But then again nearly all of the molecules
> in your body now were somewhere else a few years ago!

Well, I *DO* try to get around. Usually I bring all my atoms along with
me.

--
MarkA
Keeper of Things Put There Only Just The Night Before
About eight o'clock

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