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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I'm not sure how much it adds to a dish's flavor to keep the animal alive as long as possible. I doubt it really does anything at all if we're just talking about a difference of a few minutes.

Fresh seafood of all kinds, at restaurants, are often held in aquarium-like holding tanks specifically to be cooked alive. Crab, shrimp, lobster, fish . . .

Judging by the popularity of these restaurants and their diverse clientele, most people have no problem with seafood being cooked alive. In fact, I would say that most people EXPECT their lobster to be cooked alive.

I will have to admit that I have no culinary problem with it, although, logically, I don't see why they can't be killed immediately before cooking. What's the difference in freshness, really? I just can't get too worked up over the pain and suffering of seafood -- mostly because, I suppose, I don't see them on the same level as cows or pigs -- as having brains sophisticated enough to really make much difference . . . if you eat them, they have to die one way or another.

I know, I know, I'm an awful person . . . shame on me, blah, blah, blah. I still don't care.

As surviving members of the Donner party would attest, meat's meat.

Hey, the Donner party is a good example of a tough moral decision. I immediately think of nature's prime directive: survive. Can any moral choice invalidate nature's prime directive?

One possibility that leaps to mind is if you could save your child by sacrificing yourself . . . but chose NOT to.

But back to cannibalism. As abhorrent as the idea is, if it were truly your only way to survive, it would be even more abhorrent to die because of a taboo that doesn't take this extenuating circumstance into consideration.

Sure, don't eat people if grubs and beetles are available but if there's really nothing else to eat and your life is slipping away, then I wouldn't blame anybody for cannibalism. I wouldn't want to be alone with them for too long . . . but I wouldn't blame them :-)

@Exile - "One possibility that leaps to mind is if you could save your child by sacrificing yourself"  I don't think this is really a "moral" question as much as a "courage" question.  I think maybe a question closer to "morality" would be 'would you kill someone to save your own child'.

I read in a book one time a character talking about "situational ethics".  At the time it was amusing (it was a comedic fantasy novel), but I think the term is actually redundant.  I think all morals or ethics are situational. Killing someone is wrong...  unless it is in self-defense.  or the defense of others.  Or the state says it's okay.  Or the guy is a really "bad" man.  etc, etc.  It's wrong to steal.  Unless you are starving to death.  Unless you are stealing from a starving person.  Unless that person has more resources than you and wouldn't starve if they got off their lazy butts and walked 20 ft to get more food.  Unless that person caused the death of someone else, unless... etc, etc. 

That's one reason why the question of morality is so hard to pin down.  It is all subjective and all situational.  We tend to have common morals because of all sorts of influences plus own own basic nature, but it is never exactly the same between 2 people.

Yes, Keith, I agree. It would be nice to have a moral code that always tells us the right thing to do. But life is not that simple. It's not possible to be truly certain you're always doing the right thing. You might always have reasons for what you do but whether or not those reasons were "morally optimal" is difficult to know with certainty.

I think it is unethical to eat animals.  Didn't I say that before, to the frequent consternation of my  dominionist associates?

Everybody's entitled to their opinions. I say, to my species equality associates, that eating animals is not a moral issue at all.

Anybody notice that Wretched Saint seems to have gone away --?

Maybe he's thinking . . . do you think there's any chance he will concede a single point? Or maybe his absence means he concedes them all.

He may have a different name or different approach, but he'll be back.

Maybe he's thinking!  Ha, ha! You're a riot Atheist exile!

Hey . . . It could happen!

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