Vegetarian Discussion: Taking Animals Seriously

Taking Animals Seriously
Posts: 39

Report Abuse

Use this form to report abuse or request takedown.
The requests are usually processed within 48 hours.

Page: 1 2 3 4   Next  (First | Last)

Dutch
2006-06-04 17:18:07 EST
I got this book by David DeGrazia from the library and just started reading
it. I thought it noteworthy how he starts off. Chapter one, "A short primer
on animal ethics", page one, DeGrazia cleverly sets the hook with the
following sentence: "Spokespersons for professions that use animals have
sometimes angrily asserted a fundamental, unquestionable gulf between humans
and other animals." In this single sentence he simultaneously characterizes
as "angry" (and thus presumably, compared to him, irrational) a group he
plans to relentlessly attack later on, but more importantly, he sets his
sights clearly on his target, "professions which use animals". As with all
vegan/AR advocates, he is making the leap that he wishes the reader to take
as a given, that *the* moral/ethical issue to be considered is the "use" of
animals by humans, rather than the broader issue of the impact on animals by
humans. I suspect strongly that he intends to assume that the reader has
unconsciously buys this premise and he will continue build on that theme on
that basis. This reader did not. The effect humans have upon animals
encompasses both "use" and "impact" equally.



Dutch
2006-06-04 17:52:50 EST
On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience", the
ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
"non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case, as
all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival. On the other hand,
humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they avoid
any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web towards the
conclusion he wishes to reach.




Rupert
2006-06-04 18:58:25 EST

Dutch wrote:
> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience", the
> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case, as
> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.

In what sense?

> On the other hand,
> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they avoid
> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web towards the
> conclusion he wishes to reach.


Dutch
2006-06-04 21:58:02 EST

"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1149461905.177745.39480@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
> Dutch wrote:
>> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience",
>> the
>> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
>> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case, as
>> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
>
> In what sense?

They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..

>> On the other hand,
>> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
>> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they avoid
>> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web towards
>> the
>> conclusion he wishes to reach.
>



Dutch
2006-06-05 01:07:11 EST

"Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote
>
> "Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1149461905.177745.39480@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>>
>> Dutch wrote:
>>> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience",
>>> the
>>> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
>>> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case,
>>> as
>>> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
>>
>> In what sense?
>
> They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..
>
>>> On the other hand,
>>> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
>>> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they
>>> avoid
>>> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web towards
>>> the
>>> conclusion he wishes to reach.

Another point that illustrates that "ability to suffer" is a fake issue, any
person can easily have their rights violated without suffering, such as by
being drugged into unconsciousness or death.



Rupert
2006-06-05 02:08:37 EST

Dutch wrote:
> "Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1149461905.177745.39480@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> >
> > Dutch wrote:
> >> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience",
> >> the
> >> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
> >> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case, as
> >> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
> >
> > In what sense?
>
> They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..
>

I'm not convinced that it's literally correct to say plants have
interests. It seems to me that's only correct in a metaphorical sense,
the same sense in which we might speak of guided missiles or search
engines having interests.

DeGrazia considers at some length later on in the book whether we
should extend moral consideration to insentient things. In particular,
he considers whether insentient things can be harmed.

> >> On the other hand,
> >> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
> >> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they avoid
> >> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web towards
> >> the
> >> conclusion he wishes to reach.
> >


Rupert
2006-06-05 02:11:08 EST

Dutch wrote:
> "Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote
> >
> > "Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> > news:1149461905.177745.39480@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> >>
> >> Dutch wrote:
> >>> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience",
> >>> the
> >>> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
> >>> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case,
> >>> as
> >>> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
> >>
> >> In what sense?
> >
> > They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..
> >
> >>> On the other hand,
> >>> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
> >>> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they
> >>> avoid
> >>> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web towards
> >>> the
> >>> conclusion he wishes to reach.
>
> Another point that illustrates that "ability to suffer" is a fake issue, any
> person can easily have their rights violated without suffering, such as by
> being drugged into unconsciousness or death.

True. It's probably still correct to say that these acts are contrary
to the person's interests. The position that having interests is
required for moral consideration, and that sentience is required for
having interests, seem to me to be positions that are at least worth
considering. As I say, DeGrazia defends them at greater length later in
the book.


Dutch
2006-06-05 03:33:13 EST

"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1149487717.145812.266260@f6g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>
> Dutch wrote:
>> "Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> news:1149461905.177745.39480@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>> >
>> > Dutch wrote:
>> >> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is "sentience",
>> >> the
>> >> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He says
>> >> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the case,
>> >> as
>> >> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
>> >
>> > In what sense?
>>
>> They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..
>>
>
> I'm not convinced that it's literally correct to say plants have
> interests. It seems to me that's only correct in a metaphorical sense,
> the same sense in which we might speak of guided missiles or search
> engines having interests.

Those are not living organisms. I wasn't speaking of plants though, I meant
simple animals like insects, slugs, plankton, are smaller, all show
instinctive avoidance when attacked and have survival strategies.

> DeGrazia considers at some length later on in the book whether we
> should extend moral consideration to insentient things. In particular,
> he considers whether insentient things can be harmed.

I am not convinced that sentience is as important as he makes it out to be.

I am also having a lot of difficulty reading the book, I think he goes to
great lengths to be thorough, at the cost of readability.

>
>> >> On the other hand,
>> >> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
>> >> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they
>> >> avoid
>> >> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web
>> >> towards
>> >> the
>> >> conclusion he wishes to reach.
>> >
>



Dutch
2006-06-05 03:37:11 EST
"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1149487868.841117.121770@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
> Dutch wrote:
>> "Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote
>> >
>> > "Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> > news:1149461905.177745.39480@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>> >>
>> >> Dutch wrote:
>> >>> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is
>> >>> "sentience",
>> >>> the
>> >>> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He
>> >>> says
>> >>> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the
>> >>> case,
>> >>> as
>> >>> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
>> >>
>> >> In what sense?
>> >
>> > They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..
>> >
>> >>> On the other hand,
>> >>> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
>> >>> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they
>> >>> avoid
>> >>> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web
>> >>> towards
>> >>> the
>> >>> conclusion he wishes to reach.
>>
>> Another point that illustrates that "ability to suffer" is a fake issue,
>> any
>> person can easily have their rights violated without suffering, such as
>> by
>> being drugged into unconsciousness or death.
>
> True. It's probably still correct to say that these acts are contrary
> to the person's interests.

Ya think?

>The position that having interests is
> required for moral consideration, and that sentience is required for
> having interests, seem to me to be positions that are at least worth
> considering.

And they don't hold up, for the reasons stated above.

> As I say, DeGrazia defends them at greater length later in
> the book.

If I make it that far. He mentions dealing with bias, and I am detecting
quite a lot in him already. He also mentions "pest control" I wonder if he
examines that further. So far he still seems focused on the traditional AR
targets, the "use" of animals, rather than our impact on them, which I think
is a mistake.



Dutch
2006-06-05 04:49:47 EST
"Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote
>
> Dutch wrote:
>> "Dutch" <no@email.com> wrote
>> >
>> > "Rupert" <rupertmccallum@yahoo.com> wrote
>> >>
>> >> Dutch wrote:
>> >>> On page three DeGrazia takes Singer's position that it is
>> >>> "sentience",
>> >>> the
>> >>> ability to suffer, which defines admission to the moral arena. He
>> >>> says
>> >>> "non-sentient beings have no interests". This is clearly not the
>> >>> case,
>> >>> as
>> >>> all living organisms demonstrate an interest in survival.
>> >>
>> >> In what sense?
>> >
>> > They recoil from threat, have various survival strategies..
>> >
>> >>> On the other hand,
>> >>> humans afflicted with the inability to feel pain clearly still have
>> >>> interests that they can articulate, evidenced by how carefully they
>> >>> avoid
>> >>> any possibility of injury. As usual, the AR author spins his web
>> >>> towards
>> >>> the
>> >>> conclusion he wishes to reach.
>>
>> Another point that illustrates that "ability to suffer" is a fake issue,
>> any
>> person can easily have their rights violated without suffering, such as
>> by
>> being drugged into unconsciousness or death.
>
> True. It's probably still correct to say that these acts are contrary
> to the person's interests. The position that having interests is
> required for moral consideration, and that sentience is required for
> having interests,

He says that ability to suffer (sense pain) is the entrance requirement to
the moral arena, and clearly that is not the case, as is demonstrated in the
cases of people who cannot feel pain. Those people also have interests, they
undoubtedly wish to avoid injury, and probably want to succeed in life.
These are human-type thoughts, "interests" in this kind of abstract sense
are only held by humans, or are held in a very different, more conscious way
by humans than by any other organism. I think perhaps it's more accurate to
say that non-human animals, and even plants, *benefit* by certain conditions
(or absence of), rather than say that they have interests.


> seem to me to be positions that are at least worth
> considering. As I say, DeGrazia defends them at greater length later in
> the book.
>


Page: 1 2 3 4   Next  (First | Last)


2020 - UsenetArchives.com | Contact Us | Privacy | Stats | Site Search
Become our Patron