Vegetarian Discussion: Wild-animal Suffering

Wild-animal Suffering
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Rupert
2014-10-06 08:18:24 EST
If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living, then I wonder whether he considers the suffering of wild animals to be an urgent moral issue.

J*@gmaƮl.com?
2014-10-06 11:33:03 EST
On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,

Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
not be a reason to do it.

There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
causing them to exist.

The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
harm by causing such a person to exist.



Rupert
2014-10-06 15:23:36 EST
On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, jgke...@gma_l.com wrote:
> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>
> > If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>
> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
> not be a reason to do it.
>
> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
> causing them to exist.
>
> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
> harm by causing such a person to exist.

How do you know this? Just from intuitions?

Rudy Canoza
2014-10-07 10:10:46 EST
On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
> On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, jgke...@gma_l.com wrote:
>> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>>
>>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>>
>> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
>> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
>> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
>> not be a reason to do it.
>>
>> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
>> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
>> causing them to exist.
>>
>> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
>> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
>> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
>> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>
> How do you know this? Just from intuitions?

Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
others are morally considerable.


--

"America's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to 'the common
good,' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own
personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes."

Ayn Rand

Rupert
2014-10-07 11:13:42 EST
On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 4:10:46 PM UTC+2, Rudy Canoza wrote:
> On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
> > On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, jgke...@gma_l.com wrote:
> >> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>
> >>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>

> >> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
> >> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
> >> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
> >> not be a reason to do it.
>
> >> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
> >> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
> >> causing them to exist.
>
> >> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
> >> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
> >> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
> >> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>
> > How do you know this? Just from intuitions?
>
> Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
> others are morally considerable.

Maybe you can elaborate.

I should just clarify: I'm not trying to attack your position here, I find your position reasonably intuitively plausible. I'm just curious about how you would go about defending what you apparently want to claim, that there's some objective sense in which you are right and Harrison is wrong, and that you have somehow or other formed a reliable belief about this matter. You're not really giving the specifics of this.

Rudy Canoza
2014-10-07 12:02:55 EST
On 10/7/2014 8:13 AM, Rupert wrote:
> On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 4:10:46 PM UTC+2, Rudy Canoza wrote:
>> On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
>>> On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, jgke...@gma_l.com wrote:
>>>> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>>
>>>>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>>
>
>>>> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
>>>> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
>>>> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
>>>> not be a reason to do it.
>>
>>>> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
>>>> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
>>>> causing them to exist.
>>
>>>> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
>>>> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
>>>> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
>>>> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>>
>>> How do you know this? Just from intuitions?
>>
>> Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
>> others are morally considerable.
>
> Maybe you can elaborate.

What does the Hippocratic Oath say - the essence of it, not any literal
language? It says, "First, do no harm." There is no mention - no
ethical obligation - to seek to do good.

Suppose Fuckwit Harrison is right about broiler chickens - that they
have lives worth living. Suppose we could costlessly, or at minimal
cost, bring 10 times as many broilers into existence as people would
want to eat, even if the price of chicken meat were thereby close to
zero, and we could let them live worthwhile lives for six weeks or six
months or a year, and then painlessly euthanize them. Some aggregate
total of global well-being might be increased, but who cares? Why
*would* anyone care? No one care. When people people talk about the
greatest good for the greatest number, that number is a subset of the
number of entities that already exist, or would otherwise exist. That
is, it is some variable number 'n' that is a subset of some larger
*fixed* number 'N'. Our utilitarian concerns are not, and should never
be, focused on increasing 'N'; they should only be focused on the ratio n/N.

/Pace/ Hippocrates, we never have an obligation to increase happiness by
increasing the total number of people. When it comes to increasing
happiness, we only have obligations to people who exist or who otherwise
would exist independently of our actions. We may have and probably do
have an obligation to prevent suffering by reducing N, if we have reason
to believe some part of N will be entities with lives not worth living.
It's not symmetric.


--

"America's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to 'the common
good,' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own
personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes."

Ayn Rand

Rupert
2014-10-07 12:30:27 EST
On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 6:02:55 PM UTC+2, Rudy Canoza wrote:
> On 10/7/2014 8:13 AM, Rupert wrote:
> > On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 4:10:46 PM UTC+2, Rudy Canoza wrote:
> >> On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
> >>> On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, jgke...@gma_l.com wrote:
> >>>> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>
> >>>>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>
> >>>> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
> >>>> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
> >>>> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
> >>>> not be a reason to do it.
>
> >>>> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
> >>>> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
> >>>> causing them to exist.
>
> >>>> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
> >>>> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
> >>>> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
> >>>> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>
> >>> How do you know this? Just from intuitions?
>
> >> Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
> >> others are morally considerable.
>
> > Maybe you can elaborate.
>
> What does the Hippocratic Oath say - the essence of it, not any literal
> language? It says, "First, do no harm." There is no mention - no
> ethical obligation - to seek to do good.
>
> Suppose Fuckwit Harrison is right about broiler chickens - that they
> have lives worth living. Suppose we could costlessly, or at minimal
> cost, bring 10 times as many broilers into existence as people would
> want to eat, even if the price of chicken meat were thereby close to
> zero, and we could let them live worthwhile lives for six weeks or six
> months or a year, and then painlessly euthanize them. Some aggregate
> total of global well-being might be increased, but who cares? Why
> *would* anyone care? No one care. When people people talk about the
> greatest good for the greatest number, that number is a subset of the
> number of entities that already exist, or would otherwise exist. That
> is, it is some variable number 'n' that is a subset of some larger
> *fixed* number 'N'. Our utilitarian concerns are not, and should never
> be, focused on increasing 'N'; they should only be focused on the ratio n/N.
>
> /Pace/ Hippocrates, we never have an obligation to increase happiness by
> increasing the total number of people. When it comes to increasing
> happiness, we only have obligations to people who exist or who otherwise
> would exist independently of our actions. We may have and probably do
> have an obligation to prevent suffering by reducing N, if we have reason
> to believe some part of N will be entities with lives not worth living.
>
> It's not symmetric.

There are two distinct lines of thought here: one that we have negative duties not to harm but no duties to benefit (at least not towards beings who merely potentially exist rather than those who actually exist), and the other that we should accept "prior existence" utilitarianism rather than "total" utilitarianism. This is all well and good, but all you are really doing here is stating your view. You're not really being specific about where it comes from, which led me to speculate that it might be grounded in some kind of intuition.

M*@.not.
2014-10-09 15:27:28 EST
On Tue, 7 Oct 2014 08:13:42 -0700 (PDT), Rupert <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com>
wrote:
.
>On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 4:10:46 PM UTC+2, Goo wrote:
>> On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
>> > On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, Goo wrote:
>> >> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>>
>> >>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>>
>
>> >> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
>> >> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
>> >> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
>> >> not be a reason to do it.
>>
>> >> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
>> >> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
>> >> causing them to exist.
>>
>> >> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
>> >> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
>> >> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
>> >> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>>
>> > How do you know this? Just from intuitions?
>>
>> Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
>> others are morally considerable.
>
>Maybe you can elaborate.
>
>I should just clarify: I'm not trying to attack your position here, I find your position reasonably intuitively plausible. I'm just curious about how you would go about defending what you apparently want to claim, that there's some objective sense in which you are right and Harrison is wrong, and that you have somehow or other formed a reliable belief about this matter. You're not really giving the specifics of this.

"Existence - "getting to experience life" - is not a benefit or advantage
to an entity, compared with never existing." - Goo

"the comparison between existence and non-existence, from the
perspective of the entity, cannot be made" - Goo

"Animals do not "benefit" in any way from coming into existence, versus
never existing." - Goo

"the comparison is nonsense and cannot be made." - Goo

"it is not "better" that the animal exist, no matter its quality of live" - Goo

"I *never* make such a comparison" - Goo

"...existence, or "getting to experience life", is not a benefit compared
with never existing." - Goo

"I show, conclusively, that the comparison cannot be made." - Goo

"Coming into existence is not a benefit compared with never existing - proved."
- Goo

M*@.not.
2014-10-09 15:27:34 EST
On Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:02:55 -0700, Goo wrote:
.
>On 10/7/2014 8:13 AM, Rupert wrote:
>> On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 4:10:46 PM UTC+2, Goo wrote:
>>> On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
>>>> On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, Goo wrote:
>>>>> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>>>
>>>>>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>>>
>>
>>>>> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
>>>>> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
>>>>> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
>>>>> not be a reason to do it.
>>>
>>>>> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
>>>>> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
>>>>> causing them to exist.
>>>
>>>>> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
>>>>> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
>>>>> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
>>>>> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>>>
>>>> How do you know this? Just from intuitions?
>>>
>>> Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
>>> others are morally considerable.
>>
>> Maybe you can elaborate.
>
>What does the Hippocratic Oath say - the essence of it, not any literal
>language? It says, "First, do no harm." There is no mention - no
>ethical obligation - to seek to do good.
>
>Suppose Fuckwit Harrison is right about broiler chickens - that they
>have lives worth living. Suppose we could costlessly, or at minimal
>cost, bring 10 times as many broilers into existence as people would
>want to eat, even if the price of chicken meat were thereby close to
>zero, and we could let them live worthwhile lives for six weeks or six
>months or a year, and then painlessly euthanize them. Some aggregate
>total of global well-being might be increased, but who cares? Why
>*would* anyone care?

I've pointed out to him that by getting some of the brothers of commercial
laying hens and raising them up he could do just that same sort of thing but he
can't appreciate it Goober, just as you can't. Nor can either of you appreciate
the life of any single livestock animal much less any group of animals like
grass raised cattle Goob. I've encourage him to go to a farm, observe the
animals first hand and try to get SOME appreciation but he can't do it and you
are even less able to do it, Goo.

Rupert
2014-10-09 15:40:27 EST
On Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:27:34 PM UTC+2, mu...@.not wrote:
> On Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:02:55 -0700, Goo wrote:
>
> >On 10/7/2014 8:13 AM, Rupert wrote:
> >> On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 4:10:46 PM UTC+2, Goo wrote:
> >>> On 10/6/2014 12:23 PM, Rupert wrote:
> >>>> On Monday, October 6, 2014 5:33:03 PM UTC+2, Goo wrote:
> >>>>> On 10/6/2014 5:18 AM, Rupert wrote:
>
> >>>>>> If Harrison thinks that there is a moral merit in bringing animals into existence who have lives worth living,
>
> >>>>> Then he is an idiot. That is not why humans engage in animal husbandry.
> >>>>> If the animals had lives that were not worth living, then it might be
> >>>>> a reason *not* to engage in animal husbandry, but it is not and *should*
> >>>>> not be a reason to do it.
>
> >>>>> There is no moral merit in causing animals to exist. The consideration
> >>>>> runs only in one direction: there may be a loss of moral merit in
> >>>>> causing them to exist.
>
> >>>>> The same goes, of course, for causing humans to exist. No moral good
> >>>>> has been attained by causing a human to exist, even if he enjoys a life
> >>>>> worth living. The best that can be said is one has not done any moral
> >>>>> harm by causing such a person to exist.
>
> >>>> How do you know this? Just from intuitions?
>
> >>> Logic - and a sound understanding of what aspects of the welfare of
> >>> others are morally considerable.
>
> >> Maybe you can elaborate.
>
> >What does the Hippocratic Oath say - the essence of it, not any literal
> >language? It says, "First, do no harm." There is no mention - no
> >ethical obligation - to seek to do good.
>
> >Suppose Fuckwit Harrison is right about broiler chickens - that they
> >have lives worth living. Suppose we could costlessly, or at minimal
> >cost, bring 10 times as many broilers into existence as people would
> >want to eat, even if the price of chicken meat were thereby close to
> >zero, and we could let them live worthwhile lives for six weeks or six
> >months or a year, and then painlessly euthanize them. Some aggregate
> >total of global well-being might be increased, but who cares? Why
> >*would* anyone care?
>
> I've pointed out to him that by getting some of the brothers of commercial
> laying hens and raising them up he could do just that same sort of thing but he
> can't appreciate it Goober, just as you can't. Nor can either of you appreciate
> the life of any single livestock animal much less any group of animals like
> grass raised cattle Goob. I've encourage him to go to a farm, observe the
> animals first hand and try to get SOME appreciation but he can't do it and you
> are even less able to do it, Goo.

Of course I am aware that I have the option of helping to bring broiler chickens into existence who have reasonably good lives, but I'm just not convinced that it's the best possible use of my available time and resources. Why wouldn't it be at least equally worthwhile to buy pet mice, or to donate money towards organisations that reduce human suffering into the Third World, or to donate money towards veganism advocacy organisations that reduce the number of broiler chickens who come into existence who have lives that are not worth living? You think that broiler chickens have lives that are worth living but I have presented you with factual information about the kind of lives they live and you've never really seriously engaged with it.

I have been in a battery chicken shed and observed the animals first-hand. I have seen plenty of farm animals and also watched video footage of what happens to animals on modern farms. I've done plenty to gain a realistic idea of what life is like for a modern farm animal.

How many children do you have?
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