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.
I love shooting guns. I have a rifle and a handgun in my apartment.
I devour meat. I mean I really like the stuff. Give me a brazilian steak-house, a bottle of wine, some good friends, and a few hours and I'll show you a satisfied smile.
Libertarian. I don't want to identify with any political party, since my opinions are varied. I pretty much think a politician who is bound to a party has already lost a bit of their ability to serve the general public.
I was with you through all of that, but reading the original post and all the replies, I honestly have no idea what's being argued here.
-Are you saying that people who want gun regulations are wrong? I love my guns, but I'm all for intense regulation of firearms in America.
-I love eating meat and no one should tell me what I can and can't eat, but I'm all for the government sponsoring education programs to teach our children how to make healthy decisions (obese kids turn into obese parents).
-I'm against religion being mixed with government, though open moral philosophy and questioning seems fair as long as it's not necessarily the sole basis for law.
If your argument is that we should have only one law, then I disagree. There are so many things that one law fails to apply to, it's not worth the time to state them all.
If your argument is that the government should be less involved in our basic freedoms, such as free choice, as long as we're not harming anyone else, then I agree. But again, the government can and should get involved in education programs to give citizens the information necessary to make good choices.
Again, I'm still not sure what the initial argument was.
I have gun permits for the state of Nevada (or at least I did before I moved overseas. Not sure if they are expired or something now, though...)
In California, I seriously wouldn't trust myself with a gun. I would kill someone from my car. I get this rage problem when driving on the freeway.
My husband is British. He's never even held a handgun.
When we lived in Thailand, I got him a sorta-9mil-replica-airgun thingie to teach him basic safety (and scare off the neighbors tom-cat that kept harassing our kittens.)
Just to be fair, I had him shoot me in the leg to make sure it wouldn't break the skin of the tom-cat and potentially cause real injury. It was fine. A little bruise and a welt. Nothing major.
But then accidents started happening. He discharged TWICE in the house trying to reload, and once caught me with a ricochet while target practicing.
I've come to the conclusion that some people should not own guns.
Maybe with a whole lot of training.....but just being able to walk into a store and make a purchase?
Hmm... I'm pretty torn now.
I feel that it is our constitutional right to own firearms, but for my own self preservation (and those around me) I also think that there needs to be a basic skill or safety test.
That now puts me in the gun control camp, doesn't it?
I need to explore my own opinion a little more first. No worries. Until I do, I won't be voting on the issue at all.
Whether individuals have a right to own firearms is debatable.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Unless they are part of a well regulated militia. It is an awkward phrase that is left up to interpretation, but I can't simply ignore the first words in that sentence and happily go along with whatever the NRA declares.
And you are right, some people should not be allowed to handle firearms. I saw many in my conceal and carry class. I have heard about scores of others in friends' and co-workers' conceal and carry classes. All these people are incompetent with firearms, but were issued permits to carry them concealed.
Scary shit. I've since come to the conclusion that having the gun on me actually increases the danger to myself, rather than protects me. There are many reasons for this that have nothing to do with accidental discharge or my own competency handling weapons.
Ya, that's one major reason why I support tough gun regulation. I'm all for safety classes and such, because there are some people who really shouldn't be handling a firearm. One problem there though is that those types of classes, as you've mentioned, usually end up letting anyone carry anyway.
What really sucks is that guns get into the hands of kids on the street and then they cause problems. When I have children I will teach them how to properly maintain and use firearms. It's fun to shoot guns. There's a lot of power there. And a lot of physics lessons that I can teach my kids using firearms. But only if they know how to respect the power of the guns first.
One more thing that really pisses me off, is that a lot of punks who use guns as weapons on the streets of america have no idea how to aim and control the weapon and so they just let bullets fly. Too many innocent bystanders have been shot because the punks couldn't aim well enough to shoot each other.
Yeah, even our instructor, a Range Officer and 20 year police veteran, said the gun laws were a joke. We sat through a class that was not exactly demanding and then had to hit a large target 15 out of 20 rounds...from 7 yards. I could have done it, literally, with my eyes closed. And not because I am a terrific shot, either. It was a BIG target....at 7 yards.
One guy loaded his gun with the wrong ammo. He's probably carrying a concealed weapon right now. If he ever needs it, I hope that he finally bought the correct ammo.