I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity."  Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."

A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of  "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?

Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.

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Slavery persists despite modern communications, educational and scientific advances.

We were, I thought, talking about American agricultural slavery. Where that sort of slavery still exists, I'm sure what I said applies.

If you have switched to talking about sexual slavery, that's a horse of a different color. We use the same word but that doesn't mean its the same thing. Everything will always exist in the criminal underworld because it is the supplier for illicit desires and illegal business. Like the drug underworld, which will be with us as long as we make certain drugs illegal, the desire to repress sex we disapprove of will guarantee a marketplace.

Britain allowed something as brutal as West Indian slavery to exist, and for so long, because it was virtually invisible.

And then along came the modern communications, educational and scientific advances making it less invisible.

Abolitionists helped to lift the vision of the British public, it certainly didn't come to a halt when it was its time, as you suggest. What did the abolotionists do? How did they 'brow-beat, badger and harass' the British public? They had pamphlets full of eye-witness testimony.

Can't you see you're proving my case? Along came more modern communications, educational and scientific advances, etc. It was not the face-to-face kind of badgering, browbeating, and guilt-tripping some of you are engaging in here. You're doing it more to make yourselves feel better than accomplish anything. Changing minds works best when less personalized, allowing the other party to reach their conclusions on their own without you lording it over them with your scolding tone and your hands metaphorically disapprovingly on your hips.

I didn't say there was (an obligation to consider your arguments).

Didn't you say they should consider your arguments before forming an opinion? How can that not imply that they owe it to you or themselves to consider your (or your kind of) arguments? Besides, no one is going to consider every argument before forming an opinion for that would be a sisyphean task. One which could never be accomplished.

"Nobody can spend all day every day of their lives being compassionate about chickens, whales, endangered owls, poor people, climate change, deforestation, and on and on and on."

I think you can spend your whole life being compassionate. All I argue, for those interested and with feelings of compassion, is that other animals have moral worth and our ethics should encompass their suffering.

Unfortunately, you simply cannot accept that intelligent people can't agree with you. And since the rest of us can't be concerned about every single worthy cause without going insane, we pick and choose. Perhaps people who are already deeply involved in fighting deforestation, overfishing the oceans, saving this or that endangered species, etc., are all compassioned out, with no more concern to give, ready to let other causes (including yours) be other people's concern.

@Unseen "Wow, you actually believe I got to age 65 without understanding that there are similarities between the nervous systems of all vertebrates?"

It seemed unlikely but I based this on the notion you had that it was a 'leap' to imagine other animals suffered pain given the evolutionary importance of pain perception.

Going from morphological similarities to similarities in sensation is a leap of imagination. I have no idea if what a bird feels when it walks feels anything like what I feel, or if it feels anything at all.

@Unseen. "We were, I thought, talking about American agricultural slavery. Where that sort of slavery still exists, I'm sure what I said applies.


If you have switched to talking about sexual slavery, that's a horse of a different color. We use the same word but that doesn't mean its the same thing. Everything will always exist in the criminal underworld because it is the supplier for illicit desires and illegal business"

I didn't mention American agricultural slavery and I havn't switched to sexual slavery - a different horse colour as you call it, insinuating a shift of argument that just wasn't there.

You will see from here that slavery has not just run its course as you stated. There are still millions in forced labour. In 2005, the International Labour Organization provided an estimate of 12.3 million forced labourers in the world. So again, how do you sqaure that with your, 'belief is that slavery ended when it was time for slavery to end.'

So, if slavery did not end when it was time to end as you argue, why did it end in Britain? I've suggested it was the vigouress and determined energies of a moral minority that brought the issue to the masses through pamphlets, pottery etc etc that raised the issue. In very nebulus terms, you argue it was 'modern communications, educational and scientific advances' that won the abolitionist cause. Pamphlets - modern communications? Really? Surely you can see it was the ideas contained in the means of communication that finally won the day, not the invention of the printing press.

 @Unseen "It was not the face-to-face kind of badgering, browbeating, and guilt-tripping some of you are engaging in here."

This forum, face-to-face? Not at all, it's over the internet. As I said in my last post, you comment if you want to. No one is forcing you. Of course, the abolition of slavery in Britain did involve lots of face to face badgering and brow-beating. Was that wrong? Was that street preaching? Or do you still cling to the miguided belief that slavery just ended when it did and there was no need of it?

@Unseen "Didn't you say they should consider your arguments before forming an opinion?"

You accuse me of thinking it an obligation for other to look at my arguments. Another attempt at putting words in my mouth to make me look more extreme or strident than I am. Yes I did say people shoud look at the arguments. I did not say MUST. If I had meant MUST I would have said it. This is a forum for free thinkers right? Free thinking is defined as, 'a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason...' On this basis, yes, people should listen (read) the views of others if they have an interest to do so. It's NOT compulsary.

@Unseen "Unfortunately, you simply cannot accept that intelligent people can't agree with you. And since the rest of us can't be concerned about every single worthy cause without going insane, we pick and choose. Perhaps people who are already deeply involved in fighting deforestation, overfishing the oceans, saving this or that endangered species, etc., are all compassioned out, with no more concern to give, ready to let other causes (including yours) be other people's concern."

I do accept people will have differing views. Like abolitionists, I feel I am quite justifed in giving an opinion on a huge issue effecting the planet. Try to defeat the arguments I've put forward for the ethical treatment of other animals rather than asking me to quietly go away, and in lieu of that misrepresenting my position. Quite apart from the issue of the ethical treatment of other animals, the practice also raises huge issues for the planet, some of which you have touched upon. Global warming, loss of eco systems, endangering species etc all are directly tied up in the exploitation of other animals.

@Unseen "Going from morphological similarities to similarities in sensation is a leap of imagination. I have no idea if what a bird feels when it walks feels anything like what I feel, or if it feels anything at all."

Neither of us can know what a bird, perhaps a chicken feels. The point is, we can be fairly sure it feels pain and can suffer and on that basis has moral standing. It seems you are sayong because we can only imagine what a bird actually feels, rather than experience it ourselves, we need not consider the interests of the bird at all. Would that be the view you take on the industrial farming of chickens already described to you? Or maybe, you just think we have dominion over the animals?

 

 

 

I think "who gets to decide..." is still a good question, despite all the bashing when we disagree.

In the cases of slavery and woman's suffrage in the U.S., it first took moral outrage, then re-interpretation and re-wording of the constitution to change behavior at large.

In fact, I wish I had thought to include this relevant note a few minutes ago.

Blacks voted in the majority for Prop 8 in California (in addition to Romney's financial support via his church). Now, the NAACP has come out in favor of gay marriage:

In a move that some called historic, the county’s oldest African American civil rights group voted Saturday to endorse same-sex marriage.

The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People passed a resolution supporting gay marriage at a meeting of its board of directors in Miami, saying it opposed any policy or legislative initiative that “seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the constitutional rights of LGBT citizens.”

Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force erupted in applause at their board meeting Saturday as their phones buzzed with the news.

“Today is a historic day,” Rea Carey, executive director of the task force, said a phone interview from Seattle. “This is what leadership looks like in this country.”

The vote marks a national turning point on the issue of gay marriage. President Obama announced this month that he supports gay marriage. A Gallup Poll last year found, for the first time in the poll’s history, that a majority of Americans supported the legalization of gay marriage, 53% to 45%. This year, the poll showed 50% supported it, while 48% opposed it.

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the 103-year-old NAACP said in a statement.

“The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

...

That's how people decide, and that's how things change!

@archaeopteryx

Actually, I've read that same paragraph, but I can't accept that it is the single most limiting factor. I haven't the time, and certainly not the inclination, to re-locate research and bring it to the board, but studies show that an abundance of available food allows for a size increase in all animals, and is the primary reason that humans are no longer limited to being 4-feet tall in heels.

The food thing is ridiculous. For example, to assert there is no limit on size as long as food is available begs the question of why is it that the taller people get the less healthy they are and the shorter their lifespans. The same is true of dogs, BTW.

So, please locate that article: I'd like to know where/how you got it wrong.

Surely you jest - Mankind is taller now than it has ever been, and it's lifespan the longest. Jesus, if he ever existed, wouldn't have been that strapping 6-foot handsome Germanic type we see in the paintings, he would have been about 5' 4" with a scraggly beard and dark, greasy hair.

What part of "I haven't the time, and certainly not the inclination, to re-locate the research and bring it to the board" did you not entirely understand? Possibly I could translate it into one-syllable words --

The Dutch are the tallest people, have a long lifespan, and are very healthy.  Now, about dogs, you are right.  Dogs between the size of foxes and wolves are the most healthy.

Dogly - no pun intended - you might find this interesting:

http://visual.ly/8-animal-myths-dispelled

Thanks, for the list of animal myths.  May I call you Archy? (Since I have become familiar with your genealogy, and philosophy, I feel I know you a little.)  I knew the ones about mammals and birds, but not the length of a goldfish's memory.  I never believed it was only 3 minutes though, because I have known some goldfish.  I also knew nothing about the love lives of lobsters.  Still, that illustration of the red lobsters getting married may be an error, since they have been boiled and no amount of pheromones will ever arouse them again.  Most important of these myths is the one that says not to handle baby birds or their mother will smell us and not go back to them.  Many baby birds could have been rescued, but for this myth.  In fact birds are fearless in protecting their young, and don't have much of a sense of smell.  Thanks, again!

Arch, Archy - what's in a name?

The fact that the female lobster sheds her entire shell to have sex, then grows a new one, really gives a different perspective on, "Take it off, Baby! Take it ALL off!" Probably had her own little lobster stripper pole and everything - lap dance, five clams - I could go on, but mercifully, won't.

To go one would be to monopolise the thread. A little shellfish I think.

My, we're crabby --

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