ilja

The Animal Holocaust

73 posts in this topic

10 minutes ago, Scholar said:

Yes but in a survival situation you would eat me too, that doesn't answer whether or not pigs are less individuals than humans. You gave an account that you value one over the other, but not why. Do you think just because someone is born with different DNA they are worth less?

Pigs are certainly highly intelligent and deserve to live as much as humans, but when I have to choose I'd always prioritize a human's life. Lucky I don't have to make that call 😅

I can't tell you why. I guess, for the same reason that you'd prioritize the life of a family member over a random stranger.

There's no objective, rational reason for why one's family members is more important than a random person, yet this is what each of us would do. 

Edited by datamonster

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I've been transitioning to a plant based diet over the course of the past few years for ethical reasons, but I also get the sense that is a structural issue endemic to Industrial Societies, and something that won't be solved until several generations pass and countries like the US are roughly at SD-Stage Green. Either that or because Climate Change literally forces our hand, with how unsustainable meat heavy diets are.

Of course there's a possibility that synthetic lab grown meat could perhaps be part of a move away from factory farming, but it's not something I'm holding my breath about.

My intuitive sense is that as long as large portions of society are having trouble meeting their basic needs, worrying about animal suffering is sadly going to be something of a luxury for privileged people to worry about.

Hell, in the US we haven't even fully transitioned away from what can arguably be considered Human Slave Labor, when you consider the state of the US Prison system and how inmates are paid pennies for manual labor.

Edited by DocWatts

The problem is one of opposition between subjective and objective points of view. 

So either the objective conception of the world is incomplete, or the subjective involves illusions that should be rejected.  - Thomas Nagel

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Or what happens when it becomes extremely difficult to find someone willing to do the job of working in the abattoir.  I assume they would start to offer high salaries, but at a certain point once enough people are against it how will the system continue? It will be the job nobody wants so what then? 

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50 minutes ago, datamonster said:

Pigs are certainly highly intelligent and deserve to live as much as humans, but when I have to choose I'd always prioritize a human's life. Lucky I don't have to make that call 😅

I can't tell you why. I guess, for the same reason that you'd prioritize the life of a family member over a random stranger.

There's no objective, rational reason for why one's family members is more important than a random person, yet this is what each of us would do. 

Yes, this however is different from moral worth. We can view all humans as equal, yet recognize that our duty towards certain individuals is greater than others.

My duty to a family member is higher than my duty towards a stranger. However this idea is more of useful in structuring a societies behavior to maximize harmony, it does not really tell us about the worth of each individual being.

 

This is why I think we shouldn't say that pigs are worth less than humans, but rather that our duty towards the pig is different from our duty towards humans. When we talk about decisions that make us choose over one individual than another, then this decision will be made in relationship to extrinsic factors, not intrinsic ones. For example, as you showed, an individuals relationship to you or others.

You might for example save an ant over Adolf Hitler, because of the extrinsic factors, not because the subjectivity of Adolf Hitler is worth less than that of the ant or vice verca.

Equally you could save your own cat over a stranger (human), because your duty towards your cat is viewed by you higher than the duty towards the stranger and so forth.

Edited by Scholar

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4 minutes ago, Scholar said:

My duty to a family member is higher than my duty towards a stranger. However this idea is more of useful in structuring a societies behavior to maximize harmony, it does not really tell us about the worth of each individual being.

This is why I think we shouldn't say that pigs are worth less than humans, but rather that our duty towards the pig is different from our duty towards humans.

Interesting point of view. This is a good way to think about it, I believe!

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1 hour ago, datamonster said:

if you had to make a call, would you let an adult or a child die?

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2 minutes ago, ilja said:

if you had to make a call, would you let an adult or a child die?

Impossible to say without context.

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@datamonster in any random context, if you had to decide before the context is revealed to you.

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@ilja

2 hours ago, ilja said:

@datamonster in any random context, if you had to decide before the context is revealed to you.

If I were considering and random context, I would save the adult.  The reasoning is that the adult should be more useful for survival.  For example, a man is stronger than a boy. 

This is the same logic I use for saving a human instead of an ant.  The ant is not useful for me, but the human is.  Saving the human's life is good for my social survival.  The human is not actually more valuable than the ant.

In the event of child or adult, there is an interesting scenario.  I would choose to kill the adult if he raped or murdered children.  That would be considered justice.  The problem is that he could have murdered a child because the adult was more useful for his survival.  I can't really kill adults for child abuse anymore because the utilitarian argument for saving the adult demonstrates my hypocrisy.

I can't really choose what being should live or die without a bias.  This bias is used to assign values which are fundamentally false.  The ant is not really less valuable than the human unless you are biased toward a specific quality or only considering human survival.  These biases come out in the form of sadism in slaughter houses.

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@ilja I did finish the documentary.  I found it very educational.  This is an easily ignored issue because humans feel deeply ashamed when thinking about the cruelty toward animals.  Humans feel happier avoiding the issue possibly thinking of it as a necessary evil.  This is how people felt about slavery when they were in denial of how cruel the actions were.

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