Vegetarian Discussion: PeTA/inconsideration/education (was: Re: Please Post A Message In Support Of PeTA)

PeTA/inconsideration/education (was: Re: Please Post A Message In Support Of PeTA)
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D*@.
2006-10-07 20:49:05 EST
On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 07:00:54 -0600, Glorfindel <notgiven@all.com> wrote:

>*h@. wrote:
>> On 2 Oct 2006 11:51:54 -0700, "Glorfindel" <labrat@cybermesa.com> wrote:
>
><snip>
>>>>>>>Every single person, both pro- and anti-AR, agrees that the lives
>>>>>>>of *existing* animals should be given consideration. No one
>>>>>>>accepts your weird idea that non-existent animals have a welfare
>>>>>>>before they are born.
>
>>>>>> I don't believe that,
>
><snip>
>
>What you quote below demonstrates that you do.
>
><snip>
> >I'm copying
>> this example of it from a post I made almost exactly
>> seven years ago...seven years and you "aras" are
>> STILL dependant on lying about it. This quote is from
>> October 7, 1999!
>> __________________________________________
>
>> Message-ID: <37fcfe0f.557200918@news.mindspring.com>
>
>> If there is anything more than this life on Earth for
>> us, then there must be some type of "self" for each
>> of us that is not dependant on our body to maintain
>> its existence. For convenience, I will refer to this
>> hypothetical "self" as a "soul". Since it is not known
>> whether this "soul" actually exists or not, IMO there
>> are three possibilities:
>>
>> 1) There is no soul--if that is the case, the *individual*
>> animals are totally dependant on the particular sperm
>> and egg that unite, for their life and individuality. If
>> humans stop controlling the breeding of animals, *all*
>> of the individuals that would have been born if we had
>> continued (and that is a *lot!* of lives), will instead
>> never get that experience....regardless of how many
>> animals are born wild, since they are two completely
>> unrelated groups.
>> 2) The soul is created at some point in the development
>> of the individual being--if that is the case, what I
>> said in the previous example is also true in this case
>> IMO.
>> 3) The soul is created separate from the body it will
>> reside in--if that is the case, then it is almost certain
>> that if people stop raising animals for food, the souls
>> that would have resided in the food animals, will be born
>> to other bodies instead. My argument with that is: maybe
>> the animals that are being raised and eaten by humans,
>> are providing the life experiences for souls that would
>> have otherwise been born in wild habitats that humans
>> have destroyed.

>This is the most ridiculous idea I've ever read.

If you can think of other possibilities I'd like to learn
what they are, but according to your reply you can't
even comprehend these three.

>The
>possible existence of souls/selves of animals who have
>not yet been born

That's only ONE of the possibilities, and as usual with
you "aras" I find it hard to believe you're too stupid to
understand that.

>justifies breeding them to suffer
>and die in factory farms. Reincarnation of non-humans
>justifies using and killing them for *our* benefit.
>
>No farmer breeds animals so their souls can be reincarnated.

That's meaningless.

>Secondly, even assuming your absurd claim, reincarnating

Maybe you are as stupid as you're pretending to be, but
I still believe you're really disgustingly dishonest of course.
If you really are as stupid as you're pretending to be, your
interpretation of any religion is necessarily stupid as well.
And if you're really disgustingly dishonest as I'm confident
is the case (meaning you may not be quite as stupid as
you're pretending to be), then anything you say about
any religion is almost certainly dishonest as well. Either
way, what you say can be of no value to anyone who
cares about anything. It's YOUR fault too, not mine!
I can see why you would not be welcome in any church
just from this particular aspect of your personality, and
now have reason to believe that Goo's accounting of
you is quite accurate. It sux, but YOU have shown it
to be true.

Glorfindel
2006-10-08 18:35:46 EST

dh@. wrote:

> On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 07:00:54 -0600, Glorfindel <notgiven@all.com> wrote:

>>>>>>>>Every single person, both pro- and anti-AR, agrees that the lives
>>>>>>>>of *existing* animals should be given consideration. No one
>>>>>>>>accepts your weird idea that non-existent animals have a welfare
>>>>>>>>before they are born.

>>>>>>> I don't believe that,
>
>><snip>

>>What you quote below demonstrates that you do.

How can you deny it?

<snip>

>>> If there is anything more than this life on Earth for
>>>us, then there must be some type of "self" for each
>>>of us that is not dependant on our body to maintain
>>>its existence. For convenience, I will refer to this
>>>hypothetical "self" as a "soul". Since it is not known
>>>whether this "soul" actually exists or not, IMO there
>>>are three possibilities:

>>>1) There is no soul--if that is the case, the *individual*
>>> animals are totally dependant on the particular sperm
>>> and egg that unite, for their life and individuality. If
>>> humans stop controlling the breeding of animals, *all*
>>> of the individuals that would have been born if we had
>>> continued (and that is a *lot!* of lives), will instead
>>> never get that experience

As everyone has pointed out forever, this scenario means
these animals have no existence at all, and therefore
have absolutely *NO* ethical significance whatever. There
is nothing to consider -- a vacuum, non-existence, zero.
We can ignore this hypothetical -- it is ethically meaningless.

....regardless of how many
>>> animals are born wild, since they are two completely
>>> unrelated groups.

>>>2) The soul is created at some point in the development
>>> of the individual being--if that is the case, what I
>>> said in the previous example is also true in this case
>>> IMO.

The same here. These animals *ONLY* have any ethical
significance *AFTER* they are ( at the least) developing
in the mother animal's womb. You can argue about the
ethical significance for the mother of human control of
her sexuality and breeding, but the potential offspring has
absolutely no existence, and so no ethical significance,
until the mother is actually pregnant or has given birth.

>>>3) The soul is created separate from the body it will
>>> reside in--if that is the case, then it is almost certain
>>> that if people stop raising animals for food, the souls
>>> that would have resided in the food animals, will be born
>>> to other bodies instead.

Why? Why couldn't they float about in the aether
indefinitely in a state of bliss? If so, rebirth
would be a net loss of welfare for them. This
is an equally meaningless -- essentially religious --
argument, and needs no consideration whatever from
anyone who doesn't believe in your religion. In
fact, if our experience here is any indication, NO
ONE ELSE believes in your religion, so you're SOL
with this argument. Give it up.

>>> My argument with that is: maybe
>>> the animals that are being raised and eaten by humans,
>>> are providing the life experiences for souls that would
>>> have otherwise been born in wild habitats that humans
>>> have destroyed.

>>This is the most ridiculous idea I've ever read.

> If you can think of other possibilities I'd like to learn
> what they are, but according to your reply you can't
> even comprehend these three.

The logical probability is that there are no ectoplasmic
"souls" floating around in the void, and no animal
with an ethical significance whatever until that animal
is born.

>>The
>>possible existence of souls/selves of animals who have
>>not yet been born

> That's only ONE of the possibilities,

It is the only one which could possibly be significant
in any way, and that only as a religious issue. In
rational ethics, the kind of ethics ARA writers and
even anti-AR writers describe, there is no issue at
all with any of these possibilities. They are ethically
meaningless.

> and as usual with
> you "aras" I find it hard to believe you're too stupid to
> understand that.

I, like everyone else, understand perfectly. We just
think you're weird.

>>No farmer breeds animals so their souls can be reincarnated.

> That's meaningless.

Yes, it certainly is....

<snip>

D*@.
2006-10-09 11:46:37 EST
On Sun, 08 Oct 2006 16:35:46 -0600, Glorfindel <notgiven@all.com> wrote:

>
>*h@. wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 07:00:54 -0600, Glorfindel <notgiven@all.com> wrote:
>
>>>>>>>>>Every single person, both pro- and anti-AR, agrees that the lives
>>>>>>>>>of *existing* animals should be given consideration. No one
>>>>>>>>>accepts your weird idea that non-existent animals have a welfare
>>>>>>>>>before they are born.
>
>>>>>>>> I don't believe that,
>>
>>><snip>
>
>>>What you quote below demonstrates that you do.
>
>How can you deny it?
>
><snip>
>
>>>> If there is anything more than this life on Earth for
>>>>us, then there must be some type of "self" for each
>>>>of us that is not dependant on our body to maintain
>>>>its existence. For convenience, I will refer to this
>>>>hypothetical "self" as a "soul". Since it is not known
>>>>whether this "soul" actually exists or not, IMO there
>>>>are three possibilities:
>
>>>>1) There is no soul--if that is the case, the *individual*
>>>> animals are totally dependant on the particular sperm
>>>> and egg that unite, for their life and individuality. If
>>>> humans stop controlling the breeding of animals, *all*
>>>> of the individuals that would have been born if we had
>>>> continued (and that is a *lot!* of lives), will instead
>>>> never get that experience
>
>As everyone has pointed out forever, this scenario means
>these animals have no existence at all,

As an honesty experiment, see if you can maintain recognition
of the fact that I believe that's the most likely possibility, but I do
consider the others. That might just screw you up entirely, but
it's the truth.

>and therefore
>have absolutely *NO* ethical significance whatever. There
>is nothing to consider -- a vacuum, non-existence, zero.
>We can ignore this hypothetical -- it is ethically meaningless.

Right. However, I'm going to continue to point out that
you "aras" don't offer future potential livestock better lives,
rights or anything else, but you offer "them" NOTHING.
You do NOT want "them" to have lives with rights that would
make their lives of positive value, but instead want to prevent
"them" from having any life at all. Since you can't afford to
just let that truth remain open and honest like that, you "aras"
then want to pretend that you want to bestow these supposed
rights on wildlife who are just as non-existent as the non-existent
livestock. So then I want to know why we should consider the
supposed wildlife INSTEAD of the supposed livestock, and
that's where you guys have been stuck.

>>>>....regardless of how many
>>>> animals are born wild, since they are two completely
>>>> unrelated groups.
>
>>>>2) The soul is created at some point in the development
>>>> of the individual being--if that is the case, what I
>>>> said in the previous example is also true in this case
>>>> IMO.
>
>The same here. These animals *ONLY* have any ethical
>significance *AFTER* they are ( at the least) developing
>in the mother animal's womb. You can argue about the
>ethical significance for the mother of human control of
>her sexuality and breeding, but the potential offspring has
>absolutely no existence, and so no ethical significance,
>until the mother is actually pregnant or has given birth.

But if you're going to deliberately bring beings into
being, then you need to decide in advance whether it
will most likely be cruel TO THEM to subject "them" to
the life--and in some cases death--that you intend to
subject them to. That is out of consideration for them,
and not necessarily for ourselves, and THAT is again
where you "aras" are stuck, because you just can't
do that...you can't afford to do that.

>>>>3) The soul is created separate from the body it will
>>>> reside in--if that is the case, then it is almost certain
>>>> that if people stop raising animals for food, the souls
>>>> that would have resided in the food animals, will be born
>>>> to other bodies instead.
>
>Why?

Well, if souls do reside in different bodies, I just take
it for granted that if livestock no longer exist souls will
have to reside in *different* bodies than livestock bodies.

>Why couldn't they float about in the aether
>indefinitely in a state of bliss?

For one thing, foating about in the aether might suck.
For another, we have no clue whether it's even possible.

>If so, rebirth
>would be a net loss of welfare for them. This
>is an equally meaningless -- essentially religious --
>argument, and needs no consideration whatever from
>anyone who doesn't believe in your religion. In
>fact, if our experience here is any indication, NO
>ONE ELSE believes in your religion, so you're SOL
>with this argument. Give it up.

No one else in the whole marina I had a boat at
made use of a kayak either, but that didn't prevent
me from getting good use out of mine, and loving
the hell out of it. In fact, it made me wonder why
no one else had the sense to make good use of
one, NOT feel like I was a moron for enjoying my
own. I've feel the same way about other things
too, all the time, so "ara" extremists not giving
consideration to the lives of animals they pretend
to care about is incredibly absurd, but it's another
case of a bunch of people not thinking.

>>>> My argument with that is: maybe
>>>> the animals that are being raised and eaten by humans,
>>>> are providing the life experiences for souls that would
>>>> have otherwise been born in wild habitats that humans
>>>> have destroyed.
>
>>>This is the most ridiculous idea I've ever read.
>
>> If you can think of other possibilities I'd like to learn
>> what they are, but according to your reply you can't
>> even comprehend these three.
>
>The logical probability is that there are no ectoplasmic
>"souls" floating around in the void, and no animal
>with an ethical significance whatever until that animal
>is born.
>
>>>The
>>>possible existence of souls/selves of animals who have
>>>not yet been born
>
>> That's only ONE of the possibilities,
>
>It is the only one which could possibly be significant
>in any way, and that only as a religious issue.

None of it should be considered only as a religious issue.

>In rational ethics, the kind of ethics ARA writers and
>even anti-AR writers describe,

That's because they can't afford to consider what the
animals that DO live GAIN from the situation, because it
works AGAINST their objective. DUH! They have even
told us so distinctly:
_________________________________________________________
. . . Not only are the philosophies of animal rights and animal welfare
separated by irreconcilable differences, and not only are the
practical reforms grounded in animal welfare morally at odds with
those sanctioned by the philosophy of animal rights, but also the
enactment of animal welfare measures actually impedes the
achievement of animal rights.

. . . There are fundamental and profound differences between the
philosophy of animal welfare and that of animal rights.

. . . Many animal rights people who disavow the philosophy of animal
welfare believe they can consistently support reformist means to abolition
ends. This view is mistaken, we believe, for moral, practical, and conceptual
reasons.

. . . welfare reforms, by their very nature, can only serve to retard the pace
at which animal rights goals are achieved.
. . .

"A Movement's Means Create Its Ends"
By Tom Regan and Gary Francione
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
>there is no issue at
>all with any of these possibilities. They are ethically
>meaningless.

ONLY if you refuse to consider what the animals
gain. If you consider 1) to be the most likely AND you
are willing to be considerate OF the animals, you MUST
consider their lives as well as their deaths, since that's
all that THEY ever will have. DUH!!!

>> and as usual with
>> you "aras" I find it hard to believe you're too stupid to
>> understand that.
>
>I, like everyone else, understand perfectly.

That's the question: were you just being deliberately
dishonest, or really too stupid to understand.

>We just think you're weird.

You think you're not? Everyone's weird for one thing, and
you "aras" are by far weirder than most other people. Think
about it...HONESTLY...

>>>No farmer breeds animals so their souls can be reincarnated.
>
>> That's meaningless.
>
>Yes, it certainly is....

To what, and how?

Glorfindel
2006-10-09 23:49:52 EST
dh@. wrote:

>>>On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 07:00:54 -0600, Glorfindel <notgiven@all.com> wrote:

<snip>

>>>>>1) There is no soul--if that is the case, the *individual*
>>>>> animals are totally dependant on the particular sperm
>>>>> and egg that unite, for their life and individuality. If
>>>>> humans stop controlling the breeding of animals, *all*
>>>>> of the individuals that would have been born if we had
>>>>> continued (and that is a *lot!* of lives), will instead
>>>>> never get that experience

>>As everyone has pointed out forever, this scenario means
>>these animals have no existence at all,

> As an honesty experiment, see if you can maintain recognition
> of the fact that I believe that's the most likely possibility,

O.K. -- we agree (you say ) that animals (probably) have no
existence whatever before they are conceived. There are no
disembodied souls floating around out there. There is
nothing.

> but I do
> consider the others. That might just screw you up entirely, but
> it's the truth.

>>and therefore
>>have absolutely *NO* ethical significance whatever. There
>>is nothing to consider -- a vacuum, non-existence, zero.
>>We can ignore this hypothetical -- it is ethically meaningless.

> Right. However, I'm going to continue to point out that
> you "aras" don't offer future potential livestock better lives,
> rights or anything else, but you offer "them" NOTHING.

What you don't seem to understand is that in this scenario,
there *IS* no "them". No one can offer a non-existent "them"
anything. No one can take anything away from a non-existent
"them"

> You do NOT want "them" to have lives with rights that would
> make their lives of positive value,

There is no "them" to have any opinion about.

> but instead want to prevent
> "them" from having any life at all.

There is no "them" to prevent from having a life.
"Them" is meaningless; "them" does not exist.

> Since you can't afford to
> just let that truth remain open and honest like that, you "aras"
> then want to pretend that you want to bestow these supposed
> rights on wildlife who are just as non-existent as the non-existent
> livestock.

Exactly. There are no wildlife either, so no one could
bestow any rights on imaginary, non-existent wildlife
either. It's not a question of "taking away" anything
from any being and "giving" it to any other being --
*NEITHER* group of beings has any existence at all, and
neither group of beings has any rights or welfare or
benefit to consider. Only actual, living beings have
rights, welfare, or benefits.

> So then I want to know why we should consider the
> supposed wildlife INSTEAD of the supposed livestock, and
> that's where you guys have been stuck.

Ethically, we should consider neither group as beings
with rights or welfare which can be violated, as long
as they remain hypothetical only.

We can discuss the environment as a whole, or the
environmental value of biodiversity, but that is
an entirely different topic, and does not involve
any question of rights. Some people have tried to
set up an ethical framework for considering the
environment as a whole, but it cannot rest on the
same kind of ethical thinking as systems of human
rights or animal rights as they apply to individual
beings. It's apples and oranges. I believe
a healthy ecology and wilderness have value -- a
great deal of value -- but wilderness has no
*rights* as we speak of the rights of conscious
subject-of-a-life individuals, human or non-human.
You have to apply a different frame of reference.

<snip>

> But if you're going to deliberately bring beings into
> being, then you need to decide in advance whether it
> will most likely be cruel TO THEM to subject "them" to
> the life--and in some cases death--that you intend to
> subject them to. That is out of consideration for them,
> and not necessarily for ourselves, and THAT is again
> where you "aras" are stuck, because you just can't
> do that...you can't afford to do that.

This is exactly the kind of consideration ARAs give to
the utilitarian value of spay/neuter.

>>>>>3) The soul is created separate from the body it will
>>>>> reside in--if that is the case, then it is almost certain
>>>>> that if people stop raising animals for food, the souls
>>>>> that would have resided in the food animals, will be born
>>>>> to other bodies instead.

>>Why?

> Well, if souls do reside in different bodies, I just take
> it for granted that if livestock no longer exist souls will
> have to reside in *different* bodies than livestock bodies.

>>Why couldn't they float about in the aether
>>indefinitely in a state of bliss?

> For one thing, floating about in the aether might suck.
> For another, we have no clue whether it's even possible.

Agreed on both counts -- so we have no reason to see
this as a real ethical problem in the real world.
Rights/welfare only relates to beings who actually exist.

<snip>

Dutch
2006-10-10 01:47:03 EST

"Glorfindel" <notgiven@all.com> wrote [.]
> Agreed on both counts -- so we have no reason to see
> this as a real ethical problem in the real world.
> Rights/welfare only relates to beings who actually exist.

The idea that "lives of positive value" have moral import, to borrow one of
Harrison's phrases, is not unique to the Logic of the Larder. It's a
utilitarian idea that has been embraced to some extent by some ARAs like
Singer. He mentioned it when he visited Salatin's "Good Farm".
http://www.nehbc.org/pollan2.html
"I decided I would track down Peter Singer and ask him what he thought. In
an e-mail message, I described Polyface and asked him about the implications
for his position of the Good Farm -- one where animals got to live according
to their nature and to all appearances did not suffer.
''I agree with you that it is better for these animals to have lived and
died than not to have lived at all,'' Singer wrote back. Since the
utilitarian is concerned exclusively with the sum of happiness and suffering
and the slaughter of an animal that doesn't comprehend that death need not
involve suffering, the Good Farm adds to the total of animal happiness,
provided you replace the slaughtered animal with a new one. However, he
added, this line of thinking doesn't obviate the wrongness of killing an
animal that ''has a sense of its own existence over time and can have
preferences for its own future.'' In other words, it's O.K. to eat the
chicken, but he's not so sure about the pig. Yet, he wrote, ''I would not be
sufficiently confident of my arguments to condemn someone who purchased meat
from one of these farms.''

Singer, to his credit, seemed willing to tackle ideas head-on despite the
possibilty of undermining AR goals.

Also Gaverick Matheny gives the idea more than a passing nod in his rebuttal
of Davis's essay on The Least Harm Principle.
http://homepage.uab.edu/nnobis/papers/leastharm.htm "We have seen the case
for vegetarianism is stronger than the case for eating ruminants-namely,
vegetarianism kills fewer animals, involves better treatment of animals, and
likely allows a greater number of animals with lives worth living to exist."

One thing I know for sure, no sane opponent of AR uses this kind of
argument.



Glorfindel
2006-10-10 12:16:45 EST
Dutch wrote:
> "Glorfindel" <notgiven@all.com> wrote [.]

>>Agreed on both counts -- so we have no reason to see
>>this as a real ethical problem in the real world.
>>Rights/welfare only relates to beings who actually exist.

> The idea that "lives of positive value" have moral import, to borrow one of
> Harrison's phrases, is not unique to the Logic of the Larder.

As do "lives of negative value" of course -- but only after
those possessing those lives exist.


> It's a
> utilitarian idea that has been embraced to some extent by some ARAs like
> Singer.

Singer is not an Animal *Rights* supporter at all. He, like you,
is a pure utilitarian, although your version of utilitarianism
can't really be dignified as a philosophical position, because it
is a purely instinctive and _ad hoc_ emotional reaction.


He mentioned it when he visited Salatin's "Good Farm".
> http://www.nehbc.org/pollan2.html
> "I decided I would track down Peter Singer and ask him what he thought. In
> an e-mail message, I described Polyface and asked him about the implications
> for his position of the Good Farm -- one where animals got to live according
> to their nature and to all appearances did not suffer.
> ''I agree with you that it is better for these animals to have lived and
> died than not to have lived at all,'' Singer wrote back. Since the
> utilitarian is concerned exclusively with the sum of happiness and suffering
> and the slaughter of an animal that doesn't comprehend that death need not
> involve suffering, the Good Farm adds to the total of animal happiness,
> provided you replace the slaughtered animal with a new one. However, he
> added, this line of thinking doesn't obviate the wrongness of killing an
> animal that ''has a sense of its own existence over time and can have
> preferences for its own future.'' In other words, it's O.K. to eat the
> chicken, but he's not so sure about the pig. Yet, he wrote, ''I would not be
> sufficiently confident of my arguments to condemn someone who purchased meat
> from one of these farms.''

In terms of rights, this is nonsense, which is why I have never accepted
Singer's ethical philosophy. Utilitarianism sees "happiness" as some
sort of undifferentiated mass, and individual beings as no more than
vessels or containers for "happiness". Singer has said the same thing
about human beings: if parents have a child with very limited capacity
for happiness, they would be ethically justified in killing that child
so that they could replace it with another, healthy, child. I don't
find that a convincing ethical position with regard to either humans or
non-humans. A more balanced ethical view which includes the idea of
rights is that individuals have value and ethical status which is
independent of either their happiness content _per se_ or their
utilitarian value to others. Singer's position would logically allow
a family to kill off a member they all dislike, so as to increase their
general utility, but those who accept the idea of human ( or animal)
rights agree this would be unethical. Regardless of the utilitarian
value of an animal or human, killing him, except for his own benefit
( genuine euthanasia ), is unjust, no matter what the utilitarian value
of his death to others.

> Singer, to his credit, seemed willing to tackle ideas head-on despite the
> possibilty of undermining AR goals.

I haven't read an AR writer who is reluctant to "tackle ideas head-on".
You like Singer because he supports your foggy version of utilitarian
non-theory.

<snip>

Dutch
2006-10-11 04:56:51 EST

"Glorfindel" <notgiven@all.com> wrote
> Dutch wrote:
>> "Glorfindel" <notgiven@all.com> wrote [.]
>
>>>Agreed on both counts -- so we have no reason to see
>>>this as a real ethical problem in the real world.
>>>Rights/welfare only relates to beings who actually exist.
>
>> The idea that "lives of positive value" have moral import, to borrow one
>> of Harrison's phrases, is not unique to the Logic of the Larder.
>
> As do "lives of negative value" of course -- but only after
> those possessing those lives exist.

Yes, but that wasn't my point. I meant "lives" as in the LoL.

>> It's a utilitarian idea that has been embraced to some extent by some
>> ARAs like Singer.
>
> Singer is not an Animal *Rights* supporter at all.

It was my impression that utilitarianism was a branch of AR.

> He, like you,
> is a pure utilitarian, although your version of utilitarianism
> can't really be dignified as a philosophical position, because it
> is a purely instinctive and _ad hoc_ emotional reaction.

At the risk of sounding trite, I have to tell you, you just described the
vegan/ARA view pretty accurately. It can't be dignified as a philosophical
position because it is a purely instinctive and _ad hoc_ emotional reaction.

My view of utilitarianism in this context is just common sense. I makes no
sense to apply human values to non-human animals in the ad hoc and
inconsistent manner that AR does. It makes sense to take note of the
capacity of animals to feel pain, but it does not make sense to apply most
other human rights to them.

> He mentioned it when he visited Salatin's "Good Farm".
>> http://www.nehbc.org/pollan2.html
>> "I decided I would track down Peter Singer and ask him what he thought.
>> In an e-mail message, I described Polyface and asked him about the
>> implications for his position of the Good Farm -- one where animals got
>> to live according to their nature and to all appearances did not suffer.
>> ''I agree with you that it is better for these animals to have lived and
>> died than not to have lived at all,'' Singer wrote back. Since the
>> utilitarian is concerned exclusively with the sum of happiness and
>> suffering and the slaughter of an animal that doesn't comprehend that
>> death need not involve suffering, the Good Farm adds to the total of
>> animal happiness, provided you replace the slaughtered animal with a new
>> one. However, he added, this line of thinking doesn't obviate the
>> wrongness of killing an animal that ''has a sense of its own existence
>> over time and can have preferences for its own future.'' In other words,
>> it's O.K. to eat the chicken, but he's not so sure about the pig. Yet, he
>> wrote, ''I would not be sufficiently confident of my arguments to condemn
>> someone who purchased meat from one of these farms.''
>
> In terms of rights, this is nonsense, which is why I have never accepted
> Singer's ethical philosophy. Utilitarianism sees "happiness" as some
> sort of undifferentiated mass, and individual beings as no more than
> vessels or containers for "happiness".

Buddhism sees the meaning of life as the pursuit of happiness, so it stands
to reason that some people would value happiness as a goal in itself.

> Singer has said the same thing
> about human beings: if parents have a child with very limited capacity
> for happiness, they would be ethically justified in killing that child so
> that they could replace it with another, healthy, child. I don't find
> that a convincing ethical position with regard to either humans or
> non-humans.

Nor do I, but not because I don't value happiness. It's because the rights
of the individual are paramount.

> A more balanced ethical view which includes the idea of
> rights is that individuals have value and ethical status which is
> independent of either their happiness content _per se_ or their
> utilitarian value to others. Singer's position would logically allow
> a family to kill off a member they all dislike, so as to increase their
> general utility, but those who accept the idea of human ( or animal)
> rights agree this would be unethical. Regardless of the utilitarian
> value of an animal or human, killing him, except for his own benefit
> ( genuine euthanasia ), is unjust, no matter what the utilitarian value
> of his death to others.

A chronically unhappy being arguably has no utility to himself either.

>> Singer, to his credit, seemed willing to tackle ideas head-on despite the
>> possibilty of undermining AR goals.
>
> I haven't read an AR writer who is reluctant to "tackle ideas head-on".

I have not read one that does.

> You like Singer because he supports your foggy version of utilitarian
> non-theory.

I never said I liked Singer's ideas.


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