I'm so never taking you out to dinner anywhere nice, Reggie.
I can just picture you squealing like a girl at the imagined thought of a lobster raising from the dead, demanding you partake of its flesh as the sacrificed-
Oh. Wait. That's only Catholic lobsters.
"Maybe that's self explanatory. If you are in the minority, perhaps that conclusion was based on a faulty process."
Yes, that is a possible explanation I have already considered. *shrugs*
Your questions, then:
1) I agree 100%.
2) I partially agree. The most that could be said is that we evolved to be omnivores who CAN digest meat if necessary but do not have to in order to survive (or thrive, even). This is not the same as being a carnivore who could not survive for long without meat: there is a world of difference between evolving to be ABLE to eat meat and evolving to REQUIRE to eat meat. And since I'm not a biology expert this is where I'll have to admit I don't know enough to be emphatic, but based on what I have read I would in fact tend to disagree with the omnivore classification anyway since our digestive physiology is much more similar to our fructivorous relatives (chimps, gorillas, orangutans) - as one would expect, surely! - than it is to the true omnivores such as pigs. I hope that answers your question sufficiently.
My question now: I'd be very interested to hear the circular argument you have heard from other vegans? I'd be surprised (though still interested!) if you could show me that my reasoning was circular. Fallacious and wrong in your opinion, perhaps, but I don't see in what way it could be circular.
"I find there to be a circular nature to vegetarian/vegan logic. Initially, many vegans may say that veganism is better because it reduces suffering inflicted upon animals who are consumed. But if we remove the physical/emotional abuse of commercial agriculture and only eat pastured livestock or wild game, many vegans will still say that eating meat promotes unnecessary killing. But what about consuming plants? Plants must also die so that you can eat them. (Side note: I know that there is a sect somewhere who only eats plants which can regenerate so as to avoid killing the plant. Is it a form of Jainism? I can't remember.) If it is not the suffering of the animal that is the bad part but the actual death of the organism, then what separates the death of the animal from the death of the plant? Why is the former so much more reprehensible than the latter? At this point, I have then heard vegans say that the animal's death is worse because it is a sentient creature with complex neurology which the plant lacks. But this just circulates right back to the suffering argument as the presence of neurological complexity really only pertains to the capacity for suffering. "
I see why you think it is a FAULTY stance, and I would definitely agree with you there. But it doesn't seem to me to qualify as a "circular" argument, by which is usually meant that the concluding statement following from one's reasoning statements is actually also one of the reasoning statements used to get you to that conclusion. Anyway I breathe a sigh of relief here because my thought process doesn't go like that at all.
To see where I disagree, all you need to do is to substitute the word "humans" for all words like animal/meat/livestock/game terms in Shine's paragraph that you've quoted above. You'll then have an idea why I think those concerns are actually rather a moot point when compared with what I see as the central issue, which is the USE per se of animals as "our" property to do with whatever we see fit. Just as when we discuss slavery there is no longer any talk of "humane" slavery, because we now think that it is the keeping of other humans as property that is the actual biggest moral problem, and not just how badly the slaves are treated. So neither the suffering nor the death of agricultural animals is, for me, the prime problem, though that is of course a huge part of it and probably can't be completely separated in discussion.
What I feel is that no one has yet offered a strong enough case that any particular sentient animal's "right" to live out its own life as that animal itself sees fit should be trumped by my own desire to unnecessarily dine on that animal's flesh and secretions (or use its skin to clothe my body/furnish my house, or keep it shut up in a small box for me to look at, etc.) Note that I'm not talking about this in the context of a life and death situation - that is an altogether different discussion, one that is obviously not relevant to most of us living in an affluent western society with easy access to all manner of good quality, cheap non-animal foods and goods.
The plant question is one that I must admit I find annoying as it is really just a red herring - or often simply a tool to goad! I have a "friend" who frequently sends me links to "But what about the poor plants" or "save plants, eat a vegetarian" etc. groups on facebook, which I imagine he thinks is marvellously witty and hilarious and that no-one has thought of before! (Note that I never proselytise to this friend about being vegan, he merely happened to find out and has been having a jeering field day since then. I just ignore him.) I don't for a moment think that most people using this argument actually think that other animals = plants, any more than they think that humans = plants. People who DO - and I don't think their reasoning is necessarily faulty, I just don't think we have enough evidence yet to support any conclusion that plants are sentient - may limit their plant eating to eating just the parts of the plant that the plant "intends" to be eaten (ie. the fruit) or take some part of the plant but not enough to kill it, etc.
So, you may disagree with my conclusions because you think my premises are false, which is fair enough, but I don't think I can be said to be inconsistent, self-contradictory or circular.
Katie- fruit is generally the seed pod or young of the plant, so by comparing humans to all other animals and using others logical approaches that plants are sentient just not as quickly moving as animals you are in fact eating the young, which would be the same as eating newborn human babies...
Now this approach is extreme yes, however, it leads back too my original and extremely valid argument that your choice to eat as a vegetarian/ rawbie while based in some facts is a personal choice and possibly should not be rationalized through other means, simply accept that it is a personal choice and everyone is allowed theirs. I am (and have proven this too my rawbie sister several times) just as healthy as her, I regulate how much of what comes through my body. Again being vegetarian is a personal choice, not a medical, or socially proven as better one.
Yes there are doctors who say that it is better for you, and there are doctors who disagree. There is no real consensus other than be healthy.
For instance I am Taoist in practice, this means that I generally eat much smaller portions less frequently when it comes too meat, however, even they did not cut it out completely.
I guess one could approach this the way the American Indians did, offer blessings and thanks too the creature, or plant that by its sacrifice is allowing you too live - and no I am not being facetious I am being absolutely logical, for I do not disagree with your assertions regarding humans being animals (i.e. potentially higher ) however, I also believe given testing done and my own experience with them that plants are also sentient just in a way that most people do not see. After all look at the plants that die if you touch just a single leaf, or how about the plants that respond with vibrant colors too music, or others that respond visually too voice...the list is long and it is my very honest opinion that they are in fact sentient or as sentient as we are just in a different way.
Again the idea of the thread is too show that we all have separate and equally valid personal opinions leading too personal choice. Everyone has a valid argument, or some do. So be more accepting of this and do not attack someone based on something that cannot be moralized, standardized, proven as better, or is anything other than a personal decision based on their rational approach. (obviously this applies too rational individuals and as I feel very strongly that religious persons are irrational based on their belief alone this would not apply- of course that is my opinion)
Jesse. Again, disclaimer I'm not a biologist but it's always been my understanding that the whole REASON a tree produces fruit is to get that fruit eaten by others, in the name of seed dispersal and therefore is an essential part of its reproduction. Thus your comparison to newborn babies is, there's no other way to put this, plain wrong!
I have no problem with being persuaded that some plants are/may be sentient in higher or lower manners than others or we are. This is exactly what I mean about facts we learn being able to inform our morals, and the sort of thing Sam Harris and others have talked about.
I'm going to bow out now - I've said my piece and I don't think we're going to get any further here. I sense you are feeling antagonised by my position ("So be more accepting of this and do not attack someone based on something that cannot be moralized, standardized, proven as better, or is anything other than a personal decision based on their rational approach."), which is unfortunate since it was not my intention. I agree with Michael R earlier in the thread who said "Jesse, I would expect people to be unsupportive of things they cannot agree with." I think that particularly when a behaviour you would like to continue involves third parties that it is rather naive to expect never to be confronted about those third parties and what responsibilities we have to them. That is the problem when a "right"/"freedom" conflicts with another's. I do not think my own position is an "attack" on yours; nor do I think that it is an inherently unreasonable stance of mine to say that we can at least TRY to work out objective morals. After all, there ARE plenty of behaviours that I strongly suspect everyone here would agree are absolutely beyond the pale in any situation (child molestation for example); why is it such a stretch to think that with enough rational open debate, information, knowledge, and investigation that other currently hotly debated topics could never be resolved with us all on one side or the other?
Anyway I wish you all the best; I've enjoyed our debate here.
"Again, disclaimer I'm not a biologist but it's always been my understanding that the whole REASON a tree produces fruit is to get that fruit eaten by others, in the name of seed dispersal and therefore is an essential part of its reproduction. "
Seed dispersal i.e. Newborn or young
I have had this discussion with others, and I will repeat my original intentions are too show that everyone has different perceptions of what is. You believe I feel attacked, in reality I am quite secure in my understanding (based in science, and medical facts) which you declined to respond too.
I understand bowing out it makes sense, after all I feel plants are sentient you do not. Our perceptions vary too the point where we are potentially unable to agree, except if we are able to agree to disagree and part civilly. (which I have been attempting by repeating the following idea for several responses...and it has been dismissed.)
"Again the idea of the thread is too show that we all have separate and equally valid personal opinions leading too personal choice. Everyone has a valid argument, or some do. So be more accepting of this and do not attack someone based on something that cannot be moralized, standardized, proven as better, or is anything other than a personal decision based on their rational approach. (obviously this applies too rational individuals and as I feel very strongly that religious persons are irrational based on their belief alone this would not apply- of course that is my opinion)"
I do not mean this with regards to anything you have said, I mean this generally as it has been the entire point of the thread, you are leaving which is a common response, others blow up, and still more may respond intelligently and than while they may not agree they will at least accept that the other person may have valid ideas. If you take the paragraph as it was meant - a single thought instead of breaking off the portion that backs your position - you will see I was not "feeling attacked lol." Once humans are able to accept that their ideas are not the only valid ones than we as humans can get along much better!
Hmm, OK perhaps I will come back to respond to a few points:
I didn't intentionally "dismiss" or "decline to respond to" anything you said; I hadn't realised there was anything in the referred-to passages that was particularly inviting further discussion. However now you've drawn my attention to these parts I do have some points if you're interested... ;-)
Regarding the seed dispersal question again, I can't quite believe you would equate the eating of fruit with the eating of a newborn human baby?! Wouldn't you need to demonstrate that the whole purpose of having a human baby was to have it be eaten by others in the name of procreation? Quite apart from the fact that until germination occurs and the new organism starts growing, well AFTER the fruit-eating itself, wouldn't the seed/fruit be more suitably analogous with the human ovum (whether or not fertilised) on its way to the fertile ground of the uterus? *shrugs*
Anyway, I guess it doesn't matter. If as you say your intentions are just "to show that everyone has different perceptions of what is", maybe you are just trying to provoke thought - I'm not averse to that at all! What I do find interesting and a little odd is a tendency on your part - unusual among the freethinker/atheist crowd I would say - to hold the belief that everyone's opinions are equally valid. Now here I would disagree strongly. Surely we don't think that people's strong opinions are necessarily valid just because they happen to have thought long and hard about something, if they are based upon false knowledge and wrong assumptions or premises? Now please don't misunderstand me - this is not me dismissing anyone's opinions out of hand, nor am I saying IN ANY WAY that I think mine are the only valid ones. The only rational way to form a worthwhile opinion IS to find out as many facts as possible about something first, right? It just strikes me that, yes, as you say everyone has different perceptions of what "is" and some of those perceptions will just be plain wrong if they are not fact-based. And therefore opinions based thereupon may very well be, yes, invalid. Again, I can't stress enough that I don't mean I will not listen to anyone's opinion if it does not fit mine, because that's not what I'm saying at all. I am very much interested in what others have to say and in what new information they can provide me with.
Having said that, since you do believe plants are sentient I should perhaps apologise if you felt my previous post was dismissive of that viewpoint ("I don't for a moment think that most people using this argument actually think that other animals = plants, any more than they think that humans = plants.") Again, my intention in saying that was not to dismiss anyone who does hold this view - like I already said, I'm willing to be convinced and I'm very interested in this question - but instead to point out that naysayers of veganism who raise this question very rarely if ever raise it because they actually believe it or have any concern for plants whatsoever. They do it only to belittle the choices of the vegan concerned.
I'd also like to say, I wasn't bowing out because I don't believe plants are sentient and you do - I don't know where you got that idea at all! I just got to the point where I felt the discussion was getting a bit stale; where (as you seem to have felt too) points were being made that were not addressed or taken seriously. That's all!
As I already said a few times, there are certain freedoms you think you should have that I couldn't currently bring myself to support, and this is because these choices you wish to make INVOLVE THIRD PARTIES whom we know without a shadow of a doubt ARE sentient, DO suffer, and WOULD prefer not to receive such treatment from us. This is one of my points to which I don't feel you have particularly responded but for me it's the most important one and issues of health and science and "personal choice" don't really have much to do with that question. Again, as I touched on in one of my first posts, if we found out that cannibalism was a healthy (or at least, not unhealthy) practice would that be a reason to do it or to allow others to pursue it in the name of "personal choice"? This isn't a rhetorical question - I would be interested to hear your answer since there are many people for whom the answer would be yes and I wonder whether you would be consistent enough to be one of them. I'm not, needless to say, and I think that until you realise that many vegans see your "personal choice" to eat animals almost identically to a cannibal's "personal choice" to eat other humans you haven't really seen where we are coming from!
Ok. I think I understand your argument a little more clearly. You aren't unhappy with the idea of death or suffering, you are unhappy with the idea of animals being used by humans.
I can actually respect that a whole lot more than the "do no harm" argument.
It does make me curious about honey, though.
This isn't me being obnoxious at all. I'm genuinely curious......do you eat honey? Is honey forced labor?
I'm really, really interested in bee keeping, especially after the CCD issue. (I'd never do it because I'm allergic to bee stings, but there is something so peaceful and homey about the idea.)
I see that you've already bowed out of the conversation. I hope that you are at least still reading, though. If you are, please feel free to add me as a friend. Just because I don't agree with you on this issue doesn't mean that I dislike you. Discussions/debates/exchanges don't really reflect my day-to-day personality. It is just a style I use in communication here for various reasons. Trust me. The fact that you don't eat meat doesn't make me hold any animosity towards you.
Hell... it just means more steak for me!
So I'm sitting here.. reading this thread and trying to figure you out.
Honestly, I only know you from this thread, but this is what I'm getting:
You make a statement in a public forum, which by definition is PUBLIC and opens you up to feedback. Some of it will be nice. Some of it will not be nice, but by posting, you accept this.
The statement you make is that everyone should be free to do what they want as long as it causes no harm.
"Why is it that people tend to be un supportive of the things I want as freedoms and yet be so virile with their own desired "freedoms."
Why cant we all have these freedoms and maybe work on changing the laws in this nation too one very simple law...do no harm unless in self defense! "
Then, in another post, you counter that by saying that people shouldn't be allowed to protest or speak their minds.
".. since we should all have our individual rights when someone lobbies to remove that right in any way (even with overt criticism) it is a double standard."
So I'm a little befuddled by this, and I call you out on it.
Your response is to...well, I don't know what you were getting at, because at least to me, you didn't make much sense. But what I see is you saying that it is OK for YOU to protest things you don't agree with, because your Libertarian...but no one else is allowed to.
Further, you go on to tell me how a discussion should be conducted (What, do you make the rules?) and and dose it with a bit of crankiness, WHICH IS WHAT YOU JUST LECTURED ME ABOUT! Don't I have individual rights to express my opinion in any way I want as long as it doesn't harm you?
Surely if you are going to criticize me for being "harsh" then you ought to conduct yourself in a very gentle manner. But you don't. You do the very same thing that you accuse me of!
"Interesting and a bit harsh in approach but interesting.
My protesting is against the larger government process as a whole, but than this would mean I am Libertarian...lol - which means I may not agree with a current administration, and in this case I do not - I will make sure to word that better for those of you who are so "strong" in your stance. Of course than again, I may actually just continue as I am without apologizing for your misunderstanding of what is being written.
Logical, rational debate should never begin with phrasing that leads one to feel attacked.
Thanks for the interesting comment, honey, flies, etc."
So pretty much your whole live-and-let-live idea doesn't hold water for you personally. You are just fine telling other people what to do via protesting and blatantly saying how I should hold a discussion...oh, then when you were asked for specifics on your political ideology, you get cranky and insulting again, AND utterly dodge the issue. "Any imposition to our individual freedom unless in defense of anothers life etc. is an imposition that should be.
If you truly understood the idea behind libertarianism you would know this."
"If you would like me to define Libertarian by all means feel free to ask, however, I do not feel it my responsibility to define this to others as they should do a bit of research prior to joining a debate? ;) And no I am not trying to be mean just honest here! :)"
So just to clarify, this is what I'm seeing from you:
Everyone is allowed to have personal freedoms as long as they don't harm anyone else (except in self defense.)
EXCEPT when it comes to discussing things with you.
When that happens, no one is allowed to overtly protest...speak their mind if it is "harsh" or ask you for specific examples to support your points.
If they do one of these things, then you are allowed to be "harsh." (but no one else is.)
Oh yeah. You also dared to tell Kris that he should do a little research before debate when he was asking a perfectly legitimate question.
To this I say YOU should do a little research before debate. Run your posts through a grammar check before hitting the "add reply" button.
We all make typos and spelling errors, but a grown man that can't tell the difference between 'to' and 'too' shows a distinct lack of thoughtfulness in their own posts.
It might also be the reason why -as you pointed out- other people are having a hard time understanding what is written.