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Of Animal Rights?

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libertygrl
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#51 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 11:14 AM:

cripes wrote:
I've re-read your post and see where I misinterpreted it. Sorry!

no worries thumb up
Monk2400
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#52 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 1:33 PM:

cripes wrote:

What I was attempting to convey is we all start out the same and as the dominant species we could be more considerate. After all, what good is this larger brain in stewardship if not reasonable and compassionate? I fear it's our destructive and selfish behaviors that pose the most danger to us.


I fully agree with this.

And to be clear, I do think that recognizing the common nature of man and beast and plant is a good starting point for developing a sense of compassion for the plight of the other, which can in turn inform our moral choices and the rules we set.

In the end, however, humans choose what values they want to uphold and on what grounds. I think it is the job of the moral philosopher to analyse these grounds to ensure, at a bare minimum, consistency and coherence.

So allowing non-humans equivalent rights, for example, might lead to absurdities or consequences that no human would accept.

But part of this too is the recognition of humanity's place in the ecosystem, and how fundamentally dependent we are on other beings for our survival. So our moral system should have provisions for at least protection of other beings, if only for our own self-interest.

8)
libertygrl
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#53 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 2:37 PM:



on a not entirely unrelated note, i think it's interesting the measures we use for determining the level of an animal's intelligence. should intelligent animals be accorded more rights than "dumb" animals? and are dolphins really more intelligent than cows? maybe cows just have a more "zen" approach to life.
Monk2400
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#54 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 3:48 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

on a not entirely unrelated note, i think it's interesting the measures we use for determining the level of an animal's intelligence. should intelligent animals be accorded more rights than "dumb" animals? and are dolphins really more intelligent than cows? maybe cows just have a more "zen" approach to life.


Until non-human animals can demonstrate that they both understand and can act upon the concept of responsibility within a society, they should not be given rights period.

Rights require responsibilities. Non-human animals are not participants in human society. They cannot comprehend the concept of responsibility. Nor can they respect the rule of law. They can only conform to our expectations through vigorous behavioural conditioning.

However, it seems reasonable that animals that demonstrate higher levels of self-awareness, social order, and intelligence should be given more respect and acknowledgement. That's not the same thing as being given 'rights'. They don't have rights. Just like the tree in your backyard doesn't have rights.

8)
Monk2400
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#55 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 3:52 PM:

libertygrl wrote:




On an unrelated note, how did you add that image as an attachment to the forum?
libertygrl
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#56 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 3:52 PM:

well, how about if we say "privileges" instead of "rights"? or how about "liberties"?
libertygrl
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#57 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 3:58 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:
On an unrelated note, how did you add that image as an attachment to the forum?

i uploaded it manually to the couch site via ftp.
henry quirk
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#58 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 3:59 PM:

"maybe cows just have a more "zen" approach to life"

If by 'zen' you mean 'dumb', then, yeah, cows are masters... wink

Irrelevant anyway: I'll eat cow, dolphin, or your Auntie Gerdie if the need arises.

The 'rights' OR 'privileges' of any one is only as good as one's capacity to assert and defend those 'rights' or 'privileges'.
cripes
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cripes
#59 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 9:58 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:


Until non-human animals can demonstrate that they both understand and can act upon the concept of responsibility within a society, they should not be given rights period.
I guess a definition of 'rights' and 'responsibility' would be in order at this point of the conversation.

I'd say non-human animals already have rights - slaves rights. They have the right to exist as long as we permit, non-human animals also are afforded an extension of the rights of their 'owner'. However, they are not granted the rights which require cognitive reasoning. Non-human animals have about the same rights as a human fetus, and, to some extent, young children, infants and low functioning adults and most old people.

Monk2400 wrote:
Rights require responsibilities. Non-human animals are not participants in human society. They cannot comprehend the concept of responsibility. Nor can they respect the rule of law.
Neither can children and many adults. Quite honestly, you and I don't really participate in the structuring of our laws, we're merely expected to obey them and we get to negotiate the price of a car or house for amusement, but here in the U.S we've got so many people locked up or being hunted down by John Walsh that I think the laws are too difficult for us too.
Monk2400 wrote:
They can only conform to our expectations through vigorous behavioural conditioning.
I think an argument could be made that this also describes humans.

You know, we're not all we crack ourselves up to be.

Monk2400 wrote:
However, it seems reasonable that animals that demonstrate higher levels of self-awareness, social order, and intelligence should be given more respect and acknowledgement. That's not the same thing as being given 'rights'. They don't have rights. Just like the tree in your backyard doesn't have rights.

8)
I understand where this comes from and it's not an unreasonable position, however, I just think we need to get over ourselves. Intelligence is not limited to cognitive thought, IMV, there's much to be said for intuition and instinct. Two out of three ain't bad really.


Edited by cripes on 03/17/11 - 8:49 AM
Thinker13
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#60 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 12:01 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"maybe cows just have a more "zen" approach to life"

If by 'zen' you mean 'dumb', then, yeah, cows are masters... wink

Irrelevant anyway: I'll eat cow, dolphin, or your Auntie Gerdie if the need arises.

The 'rights' OR 'privileges' of any one is only as good as one's capacity to assert and defend those 'rights' or 'privileges'.


laughing ROTFL. By 'zen' you do not mean 'dumb'.

'Auntie Gerdie': who is she...laughing

[ Sorry for the diversion]
henry quirk
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#61 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 8:27 AM:

Cripes, you suggested, "...a definition of 'rights' and 'responsibility' would be in order at this point of the conversation", but then didn't offer one up.

I'm interested in your defintion(s).

#

"[Sorry for the diversion]"

wink
libertygrl
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#62 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/02/11 - 4:38 PM:

what about animal testing, folks? for or against?
Monk2400
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#63 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/03/11 - 1:51 PM:

cripes wrote:

I guess a definition of 'rights' and 'responsibility' would be in order at this point of the conversation.


Rights are principles of interpersonal interaction that set the standard for the range and scope of allowable behaviours for all citizens within a human society. They are defined by law and are the necessary product of moral and political values that underlie the social system.


cripes wrote:

I'd say non-human animals already have rights


At best they have permissions or allowances in our law. Our law is OUR law--it doesn't (or shouldn't, ideally) involve other beings or ecologies precisely because it is concerned with human interpersonal interactions. Anything we allow for over and above that is an extension by way of pure courtesy or based on preserving humanity's interests (eg, ecology).


cripes wrote:
Non-human animals have about the same rights as a human fetus, and, to some extent, young children, infants and low functioning adults and most old people.

Neither can children and many adults.


The difference is that children can potentially understand and participate, and so can most adults, even if they choose not to. Non-human animals cannot now or ever understand or participate in human laws. That is why they should not be accorded 'rights'. Its the simplest way to make a clear and unambiguous distinction that defines the proper scope of the concept of a 'right'.


cripes wrote:
Intelligence is not limited to cognitive thought, IMV, there's much to be said for intuition and instinct. Two out of three ain't bad really.


That may be, but in terms of what human society and law is all about, intelligence is the key. We can't have a 'conversation' with most non-human animals. They can't enter into a social debate. Most non-humans are far superior to us in terms of intuition and instinct. But that is precisely the divide between the human and non-human. So the cognitive does have a huge impact. It is, in fact, all the difference.

8)
Monk2400
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#64 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/03/11 - 1:54 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
what about animal testing, folks? for or against?


That's a tough one.

Some testing may be useful. It is preferable to test something on animals rather than persons. However, the transferability of such tests are ALWAYS in question, not to mention the artificial environment of testing itself.

Most testing is unnecessary because of its content. Testing perfumes on rabbits is not necessary. We don't even NEED perfumes!

I think we could do away with all but the most essential tests performed to further specific research for specific maladies. For the rest we need to find less invasive and destructive means of assessment.

8)
libertygrl
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#65 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/03/11 - 8:12 PM:

i have mixed feelings about it myself. my ex-boyfriend is a neuroscientist and does experiments on mice as part of his work. he asked me once how i felt about it, i told him i don't really know. obviously i didn't feel strongly enough about it not to date him. i do believe the work he does is important. he told me once that one of his colleagues does experiments on primates and gets death threats on a daily basis because of his work.

an excerpt from the wikipedia article:

"Cats are most commonly used in neurological research. Over 25,500 cats were used in the U.S. in 2000, around half of whom were used in experiments which, according to the American Anti-Vivisection Society, had the potential to cause "pain and/or distress".

Dogs are widely used in biomedical research, testing, and education — particularly beagles, because they are gentle and easy to handle. They are commonly used as models for human diseases in cardiology, endocrinology, and bone and joint studies, research that tends to be highly invasive, according to the Humane Society of the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Welfare Report for 2005 shows that 66,000 dogs were used in USDA-registered facilities in that year. [...]

Non-human primates (NHPs) are used in toxicology tests, studies of AIDS and hepatitis, studies of neurology, behavior and cognition, reproduction, genetics, and xenotransplantation. [...] The first transgenic primate was produced in 2001, with the development of a method that could introduce new genes into a rhesus macaque. This transgenic technology is now being applied in the search for a treatment for the genetic disorder Huntington's disease. Notable studies on non-human primates have been part of the polio vaccine development, and development of Deep Brain Stimulation, and their current heaviest non-toxicological use occurs in the monkey AIDS model, SIV. In 2008 a proposal to ban all primates experiments in the EU has sparked a vigorous debate."

food for thought...
henry quirk
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#66 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/04/11 - 9:18 AM:

"Rights are principles of interpersonal interaction that set the standard for the range and scope of allowable behaviours for all citizens within a human society. They are defined by law and are the necessary product of moral and political values that underlie the social system."

"defined by law" = backed/enforced by 'might' (the bigger stick, gun, bomb, etc.)

Might makes the right, enforces the right, abolishes the right, alters or mutates the right.

The 'reasons' or 'reasoning' behind, or informing, the law may be sound (logical, consistent, encompassing, etc.) but without the closed fist to make folks toe the line of that law, all the best 'reasons' or 'reasonings' are as useless as a deflated balloon or a broken condom.
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#67 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/04/11 - 12:34 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:


That's a tough one.

Some testing may be useful. It is preferable to test something on animals rather than persons. However, the transferability of such tests are ALWAYS in question, not to mention the artificial environment of testing itself.

Most testing is unnecessary because of its content. Testing perfumes on rabbits is not necessary. We don't even NEED perfumes!

I think we could do away with all but the most essential tests performed to further specific research for specific maladies. For the rest we need to find less invasive and destructive means of assessment.

8)


Why is it preferable to test things on animals instead of humans?

I do agree that we should do away with most testing of substances period.

Back to the question, I am obviously against it. wink

Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are like us." Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are not like us." Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction. ~Charles R. Magel
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#68 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/05/11 - 5:09 AM:

Henry wrote:
but without the closed fist to make folks toe the line of that law, all the best 'reasons' or 'reasonings' are as useless as a deflated balloon or a broken condom.


laughing
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