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Author Topic:   When does killing an animal constitute murder?
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 331 of 352 (601560)
01-21-2011 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 330 by ringo
01-20-2011 4:50 PM


Re: Empathy
Both you and I generally swat flies, splat roaches, dine on cows and give very little moral consideration to most of the innocent ants we trample over as we go about our daily lives. Yet you deny that you accord humanity (or any other species) any greater moral consideration.

If this claim were true you would indisputably possess a dangerous lack of personal empathy for your fellow man and be warranting of the term psychopath.

Straggler writes:

And you want to lecture me about morality and empathy?


ringo writes:

You seem to have that backwards.

Then I suggest you take notes......

I accord moral consideration differently to different species. Speciesistic concerns may not be the overriding factor in any given individual scenario. It almost certainly wont be the only factor in any given individual scenario. But the fact that a particular scenario pertains to a human rather than, say, a bee or a snake or a roach is of considerable relevance to my moral decisions regarding that particular scenario and that specific being. Because unlike you I do accord different moral consideration to different species. In fact I consider this to be a cornerstone of any socially compatible ethical stance.

ringo writes:

I've said that morality isn't the be-all and end-all magic cause of all behaviour that you seem to think it is.

I don't think it is the "be-all and end-all magic cause of all behaviour" at all. Where have I ever said that?

ringo writes:

I've said that, for example, social pressure is often a larger factor than individual morality.

And nobody has disagreed with you. But this thread is about your personal moral stance. And you have stated that the predominant reasons you don't personally go round killing people are because you have "never had an opportunity to kill a human being and get away with it" and that the "social implications to swatting humans" have "consequences". So tell me - Where is the empathy or respect in that?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 330 by ringo, posted 01-20-2011 4:50 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 332 by ringo, posted 01-21-2011 2:52 PM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16227
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 332 of 352 (601573)
01-21-2011 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 331 by Straggler
01-21-2011 12:52 PM


Re: Empathy
Straggler writes:

If this claim were true you would indisputably possess a dangerous lack of personal empathy for your fellow man and be warranting of the term psychopath.


From your own source:

quote:
However, there remained no international agreement on the diagnosis of psychopathy. One author referred to it in 1987 as an "infinitely elastic, catch-all category".[83] In 1988, Blackburn wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry that the concept as commonly used in psychiatry is little more than a moral judgement masquerading as a clinical diagnosis, and argued that it should be scrapped.

Straggler writes:

And you have stated that the predominant reasons you don't personally go round killing people are because you have "never had an opportunity to kill a human being and get away with it" and that the "social implications to swatting humans" have "consequences". So tell me - Where is the empathy or respect in that?


It's the same empathy and respect that I have for the ant colony and the wasp colony.


"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 331 by Straggler, posted 01-21-2011 12:52 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 333 by Straggler, posted 01-21-2011 2:56 PM ringo has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 333 of 352 (601574)
01-21-2011 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 332 by ringo
01-21-2011 2:52 PM


Re: Empathy
ringo re comparing humans to insects morally writes:

It's the same empathy and respect that I have for the ant colony and the wasp colony.

So tell me - What does it fell like to be an ant?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 332 by ringo, posted 01-21-2011 2:52 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 334 by ringo, posted 01-21-2011 4:06 PM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16227
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 334 of 352 (601580)
01-21-2011 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 333 by Straggler
01-21-2011 2:56 PM


Re: Empathy
Straggler writes:

So tell me - What does it fell like to be an ant?


It's like being a part of one big happy family. (I have forty-nine first cousins, so I have an inkling.) When George gets stepped on, everybody notices when he doesn't come home.


"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 333 by Straggler, posted 01-21-2011 2:56 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 335 by Straggler, posted 01-24-2011 1:09 PM ringo has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 335 of 352 (601808)
01-24-2011 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 334 by ringo
01-21-2011 4:06 PM


Re: Empathy
I am sure that the innocent bugs which are soon-to-be unthinkingly trampled underfoot as you go about your daily business will take great comfort from your all-species-are-equal moral stance.

ringo writes:

I support removing distinctions based on species.

Equal rights for bacteria?

If you genuinely see no empathy based reason to accord greater moral consideration to humans (or indeed any other intelligent, self-aware species) than you do bugs, no empathetic or moral reason (for example) to prefer the use of fruit fly as lab rats over chimps or humans, then what else is there to say here?

Psycho.

(***Straggler makes a stabbing motion and simulates screeching psycho music***)

Eek eek eek!!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 334 by ringo, posted 01-21-2011 4:06 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 336 by ringo, posted 01-24-2011 1:43 PM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16227
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 336 of 352 (601819)
01-24-2011 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 335 by Straggler
01-24-2011 1:09 PM


Re: Empathy
Straggler writes:

Equal rights for bacteria?


I remember seeing a movie or TV show years ago in which a character said, "I thought smallpox had been extinct for years." My first thought was that making smallpox extinct didn't seem appropriate.

I've also seen "public service" announcements for a Purple Loosestrife Eradication Project. I can see advising people not to put a highly-aggressive plant in their gardens but "eradicating" it seems like going a bridge too far.

It's funny how we can get all up in arms about saving some obscure species in the Brazilian rain forest, yet we don't bat an eye at trying to destroy other "inconvenient" species.

Straggler writes:

If you genuinely see no empathy based reason to accord greater moral consideration to humans....


I don't think genuine empathy can be discriminatory like that. I think singling out humans is only one step away from singling out white humans or German white humans.

"They came for the ants and I wasn't an ant, so I didn't speak up."


"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 335 by Straggler, posted 01-24-2011 1:09 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 337 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2011 7:54 AM ringo has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 337 of 352 (601949)
01-25-2011 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 336 by ringo
01-24-2011 1:43 PM


Equal Rights for Bacteria?
The fact that to accord some species any moral worth at all you are forced to talk in terms of speciecide is in itself telling.

ringo writes:

I agree with the great ape project on the basis that it takes one step away from distinctions based on species. Message 94

The 'Great Bacterium Project'. Equal rights for bacteria. Would you support such a project?

Straggler writes:

If you genuinely see no empathy based reason to accord greater moral consideration to humans (or indeed any other intelligent, self-aware species).

ringo writes:

I think singling out humans is only one step away from singling out white humans or German white humans.

I very specifically didnt single out humans.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 336 by ringo, posted 01-24-2011 1:43 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 338 by ringo, posted 01-25-2011 10:44 AM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16227
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 338 of 352 (601964)
01-25-2011 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 337 by Straggler
01-25-2011 7:54 AM


Re: Equal Rights for Bacteria?
Straggler writes:

I very specifically didnt single out humans.


You very specifically have been throughout the thread putting humans on a pedestal above other species. You put apes on the step below us and cows on the step below that. You clearly put fruit flies and cockroaches close to the bottom of the "value" ladder.

So, if sentience is your criterion, why not gradate humans by degree of sentience too? That's what they used to do: "Black people don't mind having their children taken away from them because they don't have the same feelings as white people."

Discrimination has to start somewhere. Usually, it starts with making unnecessary distinctions between groups.


"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 337 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2011 7:54 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 339 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2011 11:34 AM ringo has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 339 of 352 (601969)
01-25-2011 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 338 by ringo
01-25-2011 10:44 AM


Re: Equal Rights for Bacteria?
The 'Great Bacterium Project'. Equal rights for bacteria. Would you support such a project?

You are not going to be able to answer this honestly without contradicting yourself are you?

ringo writes:

So, if sentience is your criterion, why not gradate humans by degree of sentience too?

Because I dont. As I have detailed previously.

Re: Some questions on your moral consistency (Message 108)
Straggler: "Sentience is key. Except when it comes to humans."

Would and Should (Message 169)
Straggler: This is about a quality that for lack of a better description I would call humanness. Incorporating empathy, sympathy, compassion, experience, love, respect, wisdom and all sorts of other woolly, pretentious sounding ill defined concepts that cannot be either derived from nor reduced to a series of IF THEN logical statements. The things that make you you and me me. The things that make the personal morality of each and every one of us subtly different from everyone else no matter what common cultural factors may be shared.

ringo writes:

Usually, it starts with making unnecessary distinctions between groups.

Given that we both display moral indifference to trampling over innocent bugs as we go about our daily lives and a complete disregard for the life of bacterium everytime we brush our teeth - I would say such distinctions are very necessary. Without such distinctions the only thing stopping you from randomly wiping out colonies of innocent people is the social and legal implications of doing so.

ringo writes:

I've never had an opportunity to kill a human being and get away with it, so I have no basis for comparison. Message 146

ringo writes:

As I've already said, there are social implications to swatting humans. I make decisions based on consequences. Message 96

Oh..... How could I forget.

Psycho.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 338 by ringo, posted 01-25-2011 10:44 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 340 by ringo, posted 01-25-2011 1:34 PM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16227
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 340 of 352 (601995)
01-25-2011 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 339 by Straggler
01-25-2011 11:34 AM


Re: Equal Rights for Bacteria?
Straggler writes:

The 'Great Bacterium Project'. Equal rights for bacteria. Would you support such a project?


As I've been saying all along, it depends on the individual situation. There is no blanket easy answer. For example, I do not support the wholesale eradication of intestinal bacteria.

Straggler writes:

Without such distinctions the only thing stopping you from randomly wiping out colonies of innocent people is the social and legal implications of doing so.


On the contrary, when colonies of people are wiped out (by other people) it is usually because of arbitrary distinctions such as, "You're a Hutu and I'm a Tutsi."

Predetermined moral considerations are only a small step above moral considerations prescribed by a flying spook.


"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 339 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2011 11:34 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 341 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2011 2:01 PM ringo has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 341 of 352 (602000)
01-25-2011 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 340 by ringo
01-25-2011 1:34 PM


Individual Situations - YES YES YES
The fact that to accord some species any moral worth at all you are forced to talk in terms of speciecide tells us you don't really accord all species equal moral consideration at all.

Equal rights for bacterium?

ringo writes:

As I've been saying all along, it depends on the individual situation.

And as I have relentlessly and repeatedly said nobody is disagreeing with you about that. But do you understand that this is entirely meaningless without any basis for distinguishing any one individual situation from any other?

Without any consistent means of distinction your moral decisions are simply made on a whim. Eye colour the determining factor in one individual situation, size of feet the next. No rhyme, reason or rationale. If some factors are consistently more relevant than others in your moral reasoning - What are they? Because in 300+ posts you have yet to give any indication at all.

Your only stipulation in this thread is the inanity that is do no harm. This is inarguable in its vacuous banality. It tells us absolutely nothing about the basis of your personal moral decisions when confronted with real life complex situations involving competing interests and relative degrees of harm.

ringo writes:

Predetermined moral considerations are only a small step above moral considerations prescribed by a flying spook.

What factors do you take into account? Or is it just whimsical and random on your part?

  • As a general moral principle I accord greater moral consideration to humanity than I do other species.
  • As a general moral principle I accord greater moral consideration to those that possess high levels of sentience than those possessing significantly lower levels.
  • As a general moral principle I accord greater moral worth to the existence of an entire species than I do an individual.

    I could go one. These are the sort of (very often conflicting and competing) moral principles that I apply to unique situations, weighing them up to come to my personal moral conclusions. But, if as you assert, no such moral principles apply you have no basis upon which to weigh up the unique balance of factors that make up an individual situation.

    Simply saying "it's individual" and applying the vacuity that is "do no harm" tells us nothing about how you personally come to moral conclusions in this context. Which is supposed to be what this thread is about.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 340 by ringo, posted 01-25-2011 1:34 PM ringo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 342 by ringo, posted 01-25-2011 2:15 PM Straggler has responded

      
  • ringo
    Member
    Posts: 16227
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.9


    Message 342 of 352 (602003)
    01-25-2011 2:15 PM
    Reply to: Message 341 by Straggler
    01-25-2011 2:01 PM


    Re: Individual Situations - YES YES YES
    Straggler writes:

    Without any consistent means of distinction your moral decisions are simply made on a whim.


    On the contrary, it's the consistent rulebooks that are based on whims like eye colour. I might choose blue eyes in one situation and brown eyes in another.

    Straggler writes:

    Simply saying "it's individual" and applying the vacuity that is "do no harm" tells us nothing about how you personally come to moral conclusions in this context. Which is supposed to be what this thread is about.


    If the thread was about the most efficient way to kill WASPs, my answer would still be that I prefer not to kill them at all.


    "I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 341 by Straggler, posted 01-25-2011 2:01 PM Straggler has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 343 by Straggler, posted 01-26-2011 2:58 PM ringo has responded

      
    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10284
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 343 of 352 (602141)
    01-26-2011 2:58 PM
    Reply to: Message 342 by ringo
    01-25-2011 2:15 PM


    Re: Individual Situations - YES YES YES
    Would you accord equal rights to bacterium?

    Anyone who genuinely cannot see any empathetic or moral difference between using anti-bacterial mouthwash and machine-gunning down a busload of random innocent people is somebody society needs to protect itself from.

    ringo writes:

    On the contrary, it's the consistent rulebooks that are based on whims like eye colour.

    Nobody is advocating a "rulebook"? If you really wanted to I suppose you could describe what I am talking about as a personal moral "code". Bottom line - The personal moral position I have put forward in this thread is both honest and consistent. Consistent both internally and with my actual behaviour in real life.

    The personal moral position you have espoused in this thread (according moral consideration to all species equally, from bacteria to humans via ants, chimps and roaches) is riddled with inconsistencies, unworkable in any practical sense and blatantly has little bearing on your cow chomping, ant crushing, fly swatting, anti-bacterial toothpaste using, journey through life.

    ringo writes:

    I might choose blue eyes in one situation and brown eyes in another.

    I can honestly say that eye colour is not a factor in my moral reasoning. Can you give an example of where eye colour was the deciding factor in any moral decision you made?

    Straggler writes:

    Simply saying "it's individual" and applying the vacuity that is "do no harm" tells us nothing about how you personally come to moral conclusions in this context. Which is supposed to be what this thread is about.

    If the thread was about the most efficient way to kill WASPs, my answer would still be that I prefer not to kill them at all.

    As would mine.

    But this thread isn't about that. And you are notably still unable to give a realistic answer to the question posed without entirely contradicting yourself.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 342 by ringo, posted 01-25-2011 2:15 PM ringo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 344 by ringo, posted 01-26-2011 3:08 PM Straggler has responded

      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 16227
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.9


    Message 344 of 352 (602143)
    01-26-2011 3:08 PM
    Reply to: Message 343 by Straggler
    01-26-2011 2:58 PM


    Re: Individual Situations - YES YES YES
    Straggler writes:

    The personal moral position I have put forward in this thread is both honest and consistent.


    So was Charles Manson's.


    "I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 343 by Straggler, posted 01-26-2011 2:58 PM Straggler has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 345 by Straggler, posted 01-26-2011 3:23 PM ringo has responded

      
    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10284
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 345 of 352 (602149)
    01-26-2011 3:23 PM
    Reply to: Message 344 by ringo
    01-26-2011 3:08 PM


    Re: Individual Situations - YES YES YES
    ringo writes:

    So was Charles Manson's.

    And your point is what?

    Anyone who genuinely cannot see any empathetic or moral difference between using anti-bacterial mouthwash and machine-gunning down a busload of random innocent people has far more in common with Charles Manson than I ever will.

    A moral code that respects humanity, respects sentience, respects life, respects the existence of a species as an entirety etc. etc. etc.

    VS "I don't like blue eyes today - Fuck you" whimsical randomness.

    ringo writes:

    I've never had an opportunity to kill a human being and get away with it, so I have no basis for comparison. Message 146

    ringo writes:

    As I've already said, there are social implications to swatting humans. I make decisions based on consequences. Message 96

    ringo writes:

    I might choose blue eyes in one situation and brown eyes in another.

    And you wanna compare me to Charles Manson?

    Psycho.

    (***Straggler makes a stabbing motion and simulates screeching psycho music***)

    Eek eek eek!!!


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 344 by ringo, posted 01-26-2011 3:08 PM ringo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 346 by ringo, posted 01-26-2011 3:51 PM Straggler has responded

      
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