Vegetarian Discussion: Evaluating Rights Claims

Evaluating Rights Claims
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James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-10 11:53:16 EST
Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
benefit itself.

Rupert
2014-06-16 02:56:48 EST
On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
> benefit itself.

Here is a detailed critique of your views:

http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf

James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-16 12:00:44 EST
On 6/15/2014 11:56 PM, Rupert wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
>> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
>> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
>> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
>> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
>> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
>> benefit itself.
>
> Here is a detailed critique of your views:
>
> http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf

It's rubbish. The author inadvertently tells us so in his own introduction:

This view does not claim that existence is intrinsically
valuable. It is compatible with the more plausible claim that the
benefit of coming into existence consists in the well-being
enjoyed in life (where mere existence is not an element in
well-being). The thought is that a person is benefited by coming
into existence if, on balance, his life is worth living, and
harmed if, on balance, it is worth not living.


This is nonsense. Only an entity that exists can be benefited or
harmed. There must be some welfare of an entity that can be compared in
two different states - two different states *of existence* - in order to
say if something - a chicken dinner, a kick in the groin, existence - is
a benefit to an entity.

Existence establishes the welfare. It cannot improve the welfare,
because prior to existence there was no welfare, and so the comparison


Rupert
2014-06-16 13:47:07 EST
On Monday, June 16, 2014 6:00:44 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
> On 6/15/2014 11:56 PM, Rupert wrote:
> > On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
> >> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
> >> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
> >> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
> >> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
> >> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
> >> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
> >> benefit itself.
>
> > Here is a detailed critique of your views:
>
> > http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf
>
> It's rubbish. The author inadvertently tells us so in his own introduction:
>
> This view does not claim that existence is intrinsically
> valuable. It is compatible with the more plausible claim that the
> benefit of coming into existence consists in the well-being
> enjoyed in life (where mere existence is not an element in
> well-being). The thought is that a person is benefited by coming
> into existence if, on balance, his life is worth living, and
> harmed if, on balance, it is worth not living.
>
> This is nonsense. Only an entity that exists can be benefited or
> harmed. There must be some welfare of an entity that can be compared in
> two different states - two different states *of existence* - in order to
> say if something - a chicken dinner, a kick in the groin, existence - is
> a benefit to an entity.
>
> Existence establishes the welfare. It cannot improve the welfare,
> because prior to existence there was no welfare, and so the comparison

You're ignoring the part of the article where the author addresses this objection.

If you had a genuine intellectual interest in this topic, then you'd value this article as a useful contribution to the conversation, even if you didn't agree with its conclusions.

James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-21 11:41:15 EST
On 6/16/2014 10:47 AM, Rupert wrote:
> On Monday, June 16, 2014 6:00:44 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>> On 6/15/2014 11:56 PM, Rupert wrote:
>>> On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>>>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
>>>> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
>>>> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
>>>> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
>>>> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
>>>> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
>>>> benefit itself.
>>
>>> Here is a detailed critique of your views:
>>
>>> http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf
>>
>> It's rubbish. The author inadvertently tells us so in his own introduction:
>>
>> This view does not claim that existence is intrinsically
>> valuable. It is compatible with the more plausible claim that the
>> benefit of coming into existence consists in the well-being
>> enjoyed in life (where mere existence is not an element in
>> well-being). The thought is that a person is benefited by coming
>> into existence if, on balance, his life is worth living, and
>> harmed if, on balance, it is worth not living.
>>
>> This is nonsense. Only an entity that exists can be benefited or
>> harmed. There must be some welfare of an entity that can be compared in
>> two different states - two different states *of existence* - in order to
>> say if something - a chicken dinner, a kick in the groin, existence - is
>> a benefit to an entity.
>>
>> Existence establishes the welfare. It cannot improve the welfare,
>> because prior to existence there was no welfare, and so the comparison
>
> You're ignoring the part of the article where the author addresses this objection.

I'm not; he never addresses the objection. The author, a devoté of
angels-on-pinpoints time wasting, is deliberately equivocating. He
talks about the value of existence compared with *non-existence*, but
pretends that non-existence is synonymous with never existing. It isn't
- never existing is only a subset of non-existence.

It makes sense to say that *continued* existence has value for a person
compared with ceasing to exist (non-existence), because there is a
person who can evaluate his own welfare in existence, and conclude that
it either is high enough that he wishes to continue to exist, or so low
that he no longer wishes to exist. He cannot compare his welfare in
existence with "his welfare" prior to existing, because there was no
welfare in that prior state - in fact, there was no prior state *for
him*. This is the point the author willfully ignores.

James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-21 17:00:37 EST
On 6/15/2014 11:56 PM, Rupert wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
>> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
>> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
>> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
>> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
>> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
>> benefit itself.
>
> Here is a detailed critique of your views:
>
> http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf

ABSTRACT. In this paper I argue that coming into existence can
benefit (or harm) a person.

No, he doesn't. What he's arguing is a person's *continued* existence,
once he exists, may be a benefit to him. He fails to show that *coming
into* existence is a benefit.

James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-21 17:14:52 EST
On 6/15/2014 11:56 PM, Rupert wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
>> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
>> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
>> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
>> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
>> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
>> benefit itself.
>
> Here is a detailed critique of your views:
>
> http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf

"Before I begin defending the Value of Existence View, I need to clarify
it in several respects. This view does not claim that existence is
intrinsically valuable. It is compatible with the more plausible claim
that the benefit of coming into existence consists in the well-being
enjoyed in life (where mere existence is not an element in well-being)."

Rubbish. *OF COURSE* "mere existence" is an element in well-being - it
*HAS* to be. There *IS NO* well-being without existence. Existence is
an element in well-being in the ironclad, irrefutable sense that without
existence, there is no well-being. As benefit touches on well-being -
we define it as an improvement in well-being - therefore coming into
existence cannot be a benefit.


Rupert
2014-06-22 08:17:59 EST
On Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:41:15 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
> I'm not; he never addresses the objection. The author, a devot� of
> angels-on-pinpoints time wasting, is deliberately equivocating. He
> talks about the value of existence compared with *non-existence*, but
> pretends that non-existence is synonymous with never existing. It isn't
> - never existing is only a subset of non-existence.
>
> It makes sense to say that *continued* existence has value for a person
> compared with ceasing to exist (non-existence), because there is a
> person who can evaluate his own welfare in existence, and conclude that
> it either is high enough that he wishes to continue to exist, or so low
> that he no longer wishes to exist. He cannot compare his welfare in
> existence with "his welfare" prior to existing, because there was no
> welfare in that prior state - in fact, there was no prior state *for
> him*. This is the point the author willfully ignores.

You're completely mistaken. The author addresses this objection in detail, in Section 2. It is much more likely than not that you have not bothered to read the article.

James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-23 11:17:52 EST
On 6/22/2014 5:17 AM, Rupert wrote:
> On Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:41:15 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>> I'm not; he never addresses the objection. The author, a devot� of
>> angels-on-pinpoints time wasting, is deliberately equivocating. He
>> talks about the value of existence compared with *non-existence*, but
>> pretends that non-existence is synonymous with never existing. It isn't
>> - never existing is only a subset of non-existence.
>>
>> It makes sense to say that *continued* existence has value for a person
>> compared with ceasing to exist (non-existence), because there is a
>> person who can evaluate his own welfare in existence, and conclude that
>> it either is high enough that he wishes to continue to exist, or so low
>> that he no longer wishes to exist. He cannot compare his welfare in
>> existence with "his welfare" prior to existing, because there was no
>> welfare in that prior state - in fact, there was no prior state *for
>> him*. This is the point the author willfully ignores.
>
> You're completely mistaken.

I'm not. The author confused himself. He may have thought he set out
to show that coming into existence, rather than continued existence, is
a benefit, but he did not achieve what he thought he was attempting to do.


> The author addresses this objection in detail,

No.


> It is much more likely than not that you have not bothered to read the article.

No.


James G. Keegan Jr.
2014-06-24 00:30:23 EST
On 6/15/2014 11:56 PM, Rupert wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:53:16 PM UTC+2, james g. keegan jr. wrote:
>> Coming into existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a
>> benefit. If some entities that would have had an experiential reality
>> had they existed instead never exist, it cannot be said that "they" have
>> been deprived of a benefit - because there never was a "they". In order
>> to benefit from anything, that experiential reality must exist *first*.
>> The establishment of the experiential reality is not - *cannot* be - a
>> benefit itself.
>
> Here is a detailed critique of your views:
>
> http://people.su.se/~folke/holtug.pdf

It's rubbish.

Let us consider, then, a particular person who, we shall assume,
exists – call him Jeremy. What is needed, in order to defend the
Value of Existence View, is an evaluative comparison of his
existence and non-existence; or, more precisely, an evaluative
ranking of them in terms of their value for him.

"Never existing" has no value, no ranking, for a "Jeremy" who never exists.

This is where this goof goes off the rails and never recovers.

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