Yeah…some chick legally changed her name to that. I have to say that this is pretty gay.
There is little in modern America that I despise more than PETA, particularly due to programs like this.
In the past, PETA has kept up the pretense that it seeks to prevent cruelty to animals. Using dubious science and self-inconsistent moral theory, it has managed to convince people that virtually any physical damage to an animal is “wrong.” Somehow, it is <i>especially</i> wrong to harm “cute” animals that people have sentimental attachments to, like dogs and cats and horses. (Never mind that, say, pigs are far more intelligent than dogs and horses. They’re not cute enough to get PETA’s <i>special</i> attention.) Anyway, PETA has usually been able to argue that if X activity causes pain to an animal, then (somehow) it is wrong.
Now, PETA is encouraging people to pledge not to dissect animals. Why? The pain to animals argument hardly works here. So how can PETA justify this? All that’s left is the general <i>squeamishness</i> that people feel dissecting things. PETA doesn’t want animals dissected for <i>sentimental</i> reasons: it offends the delicate sensibilities of a) students who have to do it, and b) PETA members who know that it’s going on. PETA doesn’t care that there’s no effective way to learn about anatomy short of dissection. PETA doesn’t care that successful treatment of diseases and health conditions requires first-hand knowledge of the systems at work. PETA doesn’t care that dissection is an integral part of medical research. Instead, PETA throws aside reason and responsibility and encourages students to sacrifice learning for the sake of squeamishness.
Sympathy for animals, I can respect. Squeamishness at the expense of human health and learning, I cannot. Frankly, I think the girl in question is an irresponsible moron.
I agree philosophically with the need to protect animals, but I also agree PETA has got the wrong idea in banning vivisections.
PETA doesn’t care that there’s no effective way to learn about anatomy short of dissection.
The dissections I’ve done and heard about were never on animals that wouldn’t have been dead anyway. I agree with Peta’s general purpose but the way they go about it is pretty stupid sometimes.
This is a sort of ridiculous sentiment. I understand it’s subjective, but I’d argue there are hundreds of things about modern America worse than people using oft-misfiring, sometimes-creative methods to promote their ethical agenda in a way that really doesn’t hurt anyone, for the most part.
What dubious science? “Getting skinned alive before you die hurts,” has a lot of evidence going for it, I think. Maybe you are mistaking cattle for Kakihara from Ichi the Killer? PETA has a wide array of different opinions, most of them with the baseline that unnecessary physical damage is “wrong.” This comes in varying degrees within the organization; there are those who do not object to eating meat, but rather to the way in which animals are treated and killed to get that meat. Others find that, with scientific advantage, meat is no longer necessary and people should just skip it entirely and avoid killing animals, cruel or otherwise. Others, still, believe the methods of milking and receiving eggs are parasytic and abusive, while I don’t really have an objection to getting free milk from a cow in exchange for it not having to worry greatly about food or predators; this is essentially how most humans work, too. The fact that a non-draconian organization made up of individuals is not likely to be homogenous is probably what causes you to say their morality is self-inconsistant. I would argue it’s simply a case of disagreeing on what extent is too much. It is the most extreme, naturally, who receive the most publicity. I donate money to PETA, sometimes, yet there are not newspaper articles written about me, because giving a few extra dollars to somebody so they can spraypaint seals, while changing one’s name is rather interesting.
I think that’s more a tactical perspective, related to social attitudes. Americans love dogs, cats, and horses, and that makes them easy posterboys for the organization.
The treatment of animals before they are dissected is, from what I understand, the primary concern. Which you probably could’ve figured out relatively easily from it being mentioned in the article, had you bothered to read it, rather than dismissing it when you saw an acronym you decided you were against. I’m not really against dissection, because, as far as I know, Hades is correct. However, I may not be aware of certain circumstances (namely what goes on prior to it) that could change my mind.
I actually take issue with this. My school didn’t dissect animals (because carcasses are surprisingly expensive, apparently), instead using some crazy computer program that a) could be re-used for years and b) required far less wasted class time on prep and clean up; it was actually more efficient, in my opinion.
Uh, shouldn’t we dissect people, then, since that’s usually the system we’re trying to figure out. We’ve got a lot of corpses we’re just wasting in boxes, why don’t we use those for dissection, instead of something far less related, like, say, a chicken’s wing. I mean, whether you care about animal rights or not, wasting a bunch of space for dead people to rot in when cities are so crowded doesn’t make sense, and if we want to study humans, why not actually study humans, instead of animals that are pretty close?
Killing everyone with AIDS, or at least putting them in concentration camps, could be a boon to human health and learning. We could study their bodies when they died, and keep them from infecting the population until then. Why so squeamish? When people get serious illnesses, or reach a certain age, why bother spending precious resources to keep them alive?
Fuck squeamishness, I’m going to go jerk off to the Futurist manifesto.
PETA, like many other organizations, manipulate (some) facts their way to get people to join them. I’ve seen their pamphlets and such, and they have the cute little animals (dogs, cats, chicks, etc.) to try and con people into coming their way. Kinda sickens me a little bit…
I’ve seen how they they slaughter animals in a slaughterhouse, and I’ll admit, it’s not pretty. At least it’s better done today than it was 40 years ago…but people have to eat nonetheless. As for this dissection stuff, more stupid crap on their part.
Regardless, they have some admirable goals, but like it was mentioned earlier, they go about doing it in some pretty stupid ways.
Man, if you think dissecting a dead animal is animal cruelty, you would freak out if you learned about what happens to live animals in research. Don’t get me wrong, we treat them well, we give them food, shelter, water, heat and health care and euthanize them appropriately when they require it. However, when you give something cancer or MS or arthritis or any of a long list of disease models that are required for the advancement of science and health care, its really not pretty. If it wasn’t for animals, we’d still be in the dark ages phlebotomizing people.
For the record, people with TB get quarantined. So it does happen to a certain extent.
So is it still “cool” in the armed forces to use gay as a term meaning stupid? Because, in this modern year of 2008, most of us “civilians” roll our eyes when you obviously sexually-repressed, closet homosexuals otherwise known as “soldiers” say “fag” or “gay” every 5th word out of your mouth. Seriously…I’d have to say that sucking major’s cock in the latrine is probably more gay than changing your name to some website, but probably not as stupid (whatever gets you that next stripe buddy).
It is just the military culture. Homosexuality isn’t popular in the military, so if something is sort stupid or out there, it is called gay. Also, pretending to be gay is also a big joke. Hell, the guys in my platoon and I always joke that if you can’t be gay in the military, where else can you be gay? Or there is always the favorite, “If it is wrong to -insert gay reference- (such as cuddle with another man), I don’t want to be right.” Also popular, “good game” as you slap their ass (making fun of that gay tradition in baseball). Also, applying civilian standards to the military is trivial. Only in the military do you have 20 something year olds get called sir and saluted by 40 year olds, only in the military do you have guys fill and bags and carry them great distances just for the hell of it, only in the military do you paint rocks without paintbrushes to make them look pretty, only in the military does someone tell you how to shower. I could go on, but the military is quite different from the civilian world. In fact, the hardest part about joining the military is getting used to the different culture (hell, there are even different cultures amongst the different branches).
Also, I don’t earn new stripes, I earn more bling now (I’m an officer now).
Besides, this article is about a stupid girl who legally changed her name to “Cutoutdissection.com.”
And one more thing, if it is wrong to suck a Major’s dick in the latrine…man, I really don’t want to be right.:mwahaha:
The most harmful opinions are those that disguise themselves as harmless and progressive, yet have the potential to alter the way everyone else lives. Throwing fake blood on people wearing fur coats, sitting on trees at construction sites, urging (successfully!) that laws be passed to prohibit millennia-old methods of animal husbandry, urging couples to raise infants with vegan diets despite the enormous rate of malnutrition among such infants, physically sabotaging construction projects and assaulting their organizers, and sabotaging animal research facilities – these are not harmless and progressive activities. These are attacks on our social order. If PETA is harmless, why doesn’t it condemn the activities of so many of its members? Why does it seek the passage of laws that inhibit traditional freedoms? I despise both the means and the ends of PETA’s political activities.
What dubious science?
The particular article I’m looking for (which I can’t find) is one debunking PETA’s claim that fish feel any meaningful degree of pain or emotion. The article, and friends of mine in medical school, have confirmed the absurdity PETA’s claim. Anyway, the following also works:
PETA was also criticized in 1999 regarding undercover film it took inside the Carolina Biological Supply Company, which appeared to show wriggling cats being embalmed alive. . . . An anatomist called by Carolina Biological’s lawyer subsequently demonstrated that the wriggling may have been the effect of formalin on freshly dead muscle tissue, which causes muscle fibers to contract and move, and the case against the company was dismissed.
PETA essentially argued that <i>it had seen</i> live cats being embalmed, and offered videos to prove it, yet the evidence ultimately tended to demonstrate that the cats had <i>not</i> been alive. This begs the question: If the cats were dead, and PETA members saw them before they made contact with the formalin, why would they devise a film that made it appear as if live cats were being embalmed? The answer: Because PETA seeks to prevent animal research by any means necessary, even if it means falsely implicating businesses in illegal activity.
More importantly, on the argument that harming animals for the sake of science is unjustified:
I can’t take seriously the scientific arguments of an organization that claims animal research is not helpful. Just for starters, I know that Louis Pasteur produced the vaccines for smallpox, anthrax, cholera and rabies by experimentation on chickens. Cloning was first successfully accomplished on a sheep. I could do a Google search for other particular instances, but you could do that just as easily, and I think the point is clear.
That would be fine, if PETA could provide even <i>one</i> self-consistent theory of morality that explains why animals should be not be harmed. You mentioned the idea that unnecessary harm to animals is per se wrong. Does that mean killing a mosquito is wrong? Most PETA members would say no. So that means there’s nothing wrong with killing animals. So let’s say that what’s wrong is unnecessarily causing pain to an animal that feels pain in a way relatively analogous to how humans feel pain. The “human-like pain” criterion raises the question: Can I give a chimpanzee anaesthetic to knock out all its senses, then hack it to little pieces? No. PETA would try to get me criminally convicted. So pain isn’t the criterion either.
Maybe it’s just wrong to unnecessarily harm an animal that is sufficiently intelligent to have something like awareness (if not self-awareness). But where do you draw the line between intelligent enough and not intelligent enough? Most Americans agree it’s okay to kill pigs but not horses, despite the fact that pigs are smarter. Maybe PETA members are more consistent, and would say, e.g., “Anything as smart as a mouse may not be harmed.” But 1) where would PETA find any basis for drawing a moral line at that particular “intelligence quotient”? 2) why is PETA justified in assuming that intelligence matters in laying moral categories? More pointedly: Is it okay to rip apart a five-year-old human with a genetic disorder rendering him slightly less intelligent than a mouse? Can we genetically engineers animals to be stupid, so that killing them is “okay”? Any line you draw based on intelligence is susceptible to these attacks. Line-drawing is just arbitrary.
So in the end, I sympathize most with traditional arguments about the sacredness of <i>human</i> life, and the existence of animals <i>solely to serve</i> humans. This idea, at least, is self-consistent and not vulnerable to the “what ifs” that show the arbitrariness of animal rights.
Don’t go assuming. <i>I</i> don’t think scientists should have to take care to avoid pain to lab animals, but I can at least respect an argument that pain to animals being killed should be minimized. The problem is, <i>the site goes further than that</i>. It urges teenagers to stop dissecting animals altogether. So even if a certain pig was anesthetized before being killed, PETA non-discriminatorily says, “Don’t dissect it.” What this reveals is that unnecessary pain was never the real issue. Rather, PETA just seeks to prevent the exploitation of animals in <i>any</i> way, no matter how traditional and accepted that exploitation is. The founder of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, says PETA’s goal is “total animal liberation,” including no milk, no zoos, and no pets. <i>That’s</i> what PETA is going for here, not just ending unnecessary pain. And I despise a group which seeks to impose “total animal liberation” on the rest of society.
My school didn’t dissect animals (because carcasses are surprisingly expensive, apparently), instead using some crazy computer program that a) could be re-used for years and b) required far less wasted class time on prep and clean up; it was actually more efficient, in my opinion.
Surely you’re smart enough to see the “chicken before the egg” problem here. The only reason we can have computer programs detailing the innards of animals is because <i>others</i> have dissected them. So you’re not going to learn anything <i>new</i> from a computer program. Moreover, no matter how good the computer program is, it can only show you what it’s been programmed to contain information about. And until a computer program can fully model every molecule of an organism, it’s not going to give you an accurate picture of how organs look, feel, and interact. On a related note, a computer can’t convey how <i>anything</i> feels or smells; only how it looks. I don’t want a doctor doing surgery on me, if he’s only practiced on digital humans. And it’s silly to prevent youth from practicing early what becomes a necessary skill for professionals later.
Uh, shouldn’t we dissect people, then, since that’s usually the system we’re trying to figure out. We’ve got a lot of corpses we’re just wasting in boxes, why don’t we use those for dissection, instead of something far less related, like, say, a chicken’s wing.
We do. If you know anyone newly in medical school, ask him if he’s developed a close relationship with his group’s cadaver yet. The problem is, medicine generally cannot be tested on a cadaver. Nothing moves inside a cadaver. But medicine often can be tested on animals. Mice work pretty well at that. If animal rights activists weren’t around, we could test medicine on chimpanzees, and that would work <i>really</i> well. So what if it’s imperfect? The fact that animal testing is imperfect hardly means it’s useless. Mammals have enough in common that, if medicine works on one, there’s a decent shot that <i>similar</i> medicine would work on us.
Because, frankly, I don’t let anything as important as the preservation of fellow humans rest on fluffy things like squeamishness and sentimentality.
I hate to agree with Sinistral, but he’s right- I don’t want animals to suffer, but without research on lab animals, much of our modern medicine would not have been achieved. At the end of the day, we are people, and they are not. (Besides, animals suffer and die in the wild anyway- often at each other’s claws.)
…Is “phlebotomizing” an actual word? 0_o
Dear god, not a change! Perish the thought. All I’m saying is the absolute worst PETA could do would be to create mandatory legal veganism. Which I would be absolutely against, but isn’t nearly so bad as so many other things that PETA topping the list is somewhat ridiculous.
Well, uh, other than assaulting someone, the most harmful of those is giving someone bad advice. I fail to see anything really harmful about any of them.
There was a long time wherein rape and the right to own people were traditional freedoms. People passed laws that inhibited those because they thought they were morally wrong. Such is the case with PETA. You, simply, happen to disagree. I reiterate that the vast majority of PETA members aren’t those one hears about. Because the normal ones aren’t interesting. I also don’t really see any of those activities to be so reprehensible (other than the aformentioned assault, which I would imagine to be hyperbole) as to merit a condemnation.
There’s almost no way to discern whether or not something has emotion. As for pain, things go back and forth on fish and reptiles, especially since “meaningful degree of pain” isn’t really the sort of objective term good research is built around.
Firstly, you have cited Fox News as your source. There is a slim chance that it may not be unbiased. Secondly, there are a fair number of holes in the logic; people can make mistakes, the conclusion about animal research doesn’t really necessarily and definitively follow from their actions, and false implication is far from “any means necessary.” In fact, false implications are pretty mild compared to other political causes.
A large number of these are only helpful because we can’t legally do them on humans, although that is beside the point. The point is that generalities and specifics are different; dissecting an animal in science class to learn anatomy you could learn for less cost and with less wasted time on prep and clean-up doesn’t really help, scientifically, in many settings. Honestly, cutting open a frog and finding its organs is no more useful to me than knowing where they are when presented in a very realistic image on a screen.
You are expecting an organization to come up with one theory of morality to guide all its members? That’s ridiculuos. Neither political party has that. Artistic movements don’t even have that. PETA generally stands along the lines of a general cause, the same as any other political organization. That cause involves cruelty to animals. Different members believe in to different extents and in different ways (Chrissie Hynde is, I believe, a vegan, while Conor Oberst is a pescetarian).
I, personally, catch mosquitoes in tissues and take them outside if they get in my room, but I suppose that isn’t really the point. The point is that because a subjective, personally defined moral term is not absolute, you are considering it invalid, which is just silly. The English language has ambiguities, get used to it. Any statement can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. I actually think a lot of PETA members would find simply killing an insect to kill it wrong. Swatting a mosquito on one’s arms is largely reflexive and defensive, if an overreaction. Cutting up a chimpanzee laying around stoned out of its head on painkillers is just killing something for the sake of killing it.
Again, you take the fact that PETA doesn’t have a several thousand page document explaining its exact beliefs in enough ways so as to prevent any variant in interpretation from existing as its flaw. It represents a vague, general belief that its proponents, being individuals, all agree with in their own way. Most Americans probably aren’t aware that pigs are smarter. If it’s okay to rip up an animal for any given reason, I see no reason why it’s not morally acceptable to kill a human for the exact same reason. Why would we spend the large amount of time and money that could go better places on making exceeding stupid animals when meat, leather, and fur can all just be synthesized without them. Where do you find any basis for drawing a moral line between people and animals, but not at specific ethnicities of people? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s because it is your subjective, moral opinion which cannot really be effectively rationalized without just as many holes as in the PETA argument).
No, you just ignore them. You draw an arbitrary line between human and animals, for example.
I think that is a result of trust; USDA meat is theoretically not treated a certain way before it is killed. USDA inspecetions even reveal these practice are quite common, anyway, meaning the label on your meat which is supposed to tell something about its treatment, in truth, doesn’t tell much at all. The guy could’ve just killed the pig with the nail-removal end of a hammer as long as the parts dissected weren’t hit and Teenage Dissector would have no idea it happened if someone just said “Oh, yeah, totally anaesthetized.”
That, uh, doesn’t sound like a bad goal to me. Exploitation is a pretty negative thing.
I don’t really see a problem with this reasoning. Someone did it in the past. Now high school kids don’t have to do it in biology to learn anatomy if they don’t want to. For some things, like learning to be a vet, it will be essentially necessary, just as cadavers are a necessary step to becoming a doctor. For the average person, it isn’t, and I don’t see anything wrong with telling people what you think about making that choice and why. I don’t agree with writing laws about it, but I don’t really agree with the concept of a law, ever.
Nor is one likely to make a discovery dissecting an actual pig heart in high school biology class.
There is a huge difference between a teenager learning basic anatomy and someone learning the intrinicacies of life function to the extent I don’t think they can even be considered under the same argument.
Or on an animal that’s already dead. We’re talking about dissecting here.
Yet, strangely, not as well as just testing it on humans in the first place.
Or, if we tested it on humans, there’s a way better shot the exact same medicine would work on us.
Humans you wish to preserve mostly out of squeamishness and sentinmentality. Unless you mean to argue from an evolutionary perspective, in which case my arguments about letting the weak die to better the strong stands. The old and sick don’t help humanity survive. For that matter, to reference the side topic, neither do homosexuals, so shouldn’t we get rid of them so the rest of humanity has more resources? If you disagree, don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s anything besides a squeamish, subjective, arbitrary sentimentalist morality convincing you.
Wil: People suffer and die at each other’s hands, knives, and guns in civilization. Using that logic, may I assume torturing someone to death is acceptable? I never got the “animals kill each other, so why shouldn’t we kill them?” argument, since it never seemed really fundamentally different from “people kill each other, so why shouldn’t I?” argument.
It seems to me that ruining a fur coat is counter productive. Anyone that can buy a fur coat is probably rich enough to buy another one to replace the one that was ruined so you’re basically causing more animals to die in the short term.
I don’t want to dissect things myself, but I full well realize the uses of it.
Anyway, I think I can one-up your PETA story, Info.
WATERBURY, VT. - Hands off the Holsteins. PETA wants Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream to tap nursing moms, rather than cows, for the milk used in its ice cream.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says that using breast milk would reduce the suffering of cows and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.
The idea got a cool reception Thursday from Ben & Jerry’s officials, the company’s customers and La Leche League International, the world’s oldest breast-feeding support organization.
If all PETA members would be willing to volunteer themselves as human tests subjects, I’d have no problem with us stopping animal testing.
You’ve quoted me in misleading ways, so that 1) questions I’ve already answered, you can ask again, and 2) statements that made sense in context, could be shifted out of context.
The Boston Tea Party was caused by a tax on tea. The Revolutionary War was caused largely by taxes on consumables. PETA wants to <i>eliminate</i> many, if not most, traditional consumables. It also seeks to end research on “non-consenting” animals (which is why PETA accepts human research). PETA seeks to do all this by any means necessary, even if it means condoning assaults, sabotage, lying in court, and causing infants to be malnourished.
Well, uh, other than assaulting someone, the most harmful of those is giving someone bad advice. I fail to see anything really harmful about any of them.
Besides assaulting? Malicious destruction of property is a five-year felony where I’m from. Perjury is 15 years. That’s pretty serious. Which is why I say,
You “lol” expecting a board of young people to sneer with you at someone who expresses a serious and unjaded sentiment about society. However, not everyone is as jaded as you, and some people are actually disturbed by an organization that condones felonious activity, in its efforts to achieve “total animal liberation.” That means, no more pets, milk, cheese, pizza, delis, or zoos. It <i>alters the social order</i>.
As for pain, things go back and forth on fish and reptiles, especially since “meaningful degree of pain” isn’t really the sort of objective term good research is built around.
Are you looking for a number from one to ten? Of course a doctor would say something more precise than “meaningful degree of pain” in a medical journal. But the <i>conclusion</i> was that the amount of pain fish felt was not enough to be meaningful in determining whether killing fish was wrong. So if it’s wrong to kill fish, it’s not because of pain. There’s just not enough of it.
Uh, like I said, false testimony regarding a felony is itself a 15-year felony where I’m from. It’s not “pretty mild” to accuse an innocent person of committing a crime, and press charges, to prevent that person from doing <i>other</i> things you disapprove of. It’s despicable.
Maybe you spend a lot of time reading about revolutionaries in 3rd-world countries, or about militant anarchy. It’s true, perjury falls rather short of blowing up key military and political installations. But if <i>you</i> demonstrated a little of that vaunted PETA sympathy, you’d care more that people’s lives and reputations are being placed on the line, by a group of liars with a radical political purpose.
A large number of these are only helpful because we can’t legally do them on humans, although that is beside the point. The point is that generalities and specifics are different; dissecting an animal in science class to learn anatomy you could learn for less cost and with less wasted time on prep and clean-up doesn’t really help, scientifically, in many settings.
That’s just wrong. You only learn by doing. Now, the value of dissecting pigs’ hearts, etc. in grade school is not so much the learning how to dissect. It’s learning how you react to having an open body or organ right in front of you, which you need to cut open. It’s learning whether you’re cut out to go to medical school or into biology. Most learning in middle school through high school is only <i>necessary</i> if you happen to choose a relevant profession. Calculus, physics, European history – this is not the required knowledge of the average desk job. At best, they train your mind, unless you happen to choose a job that’s relevant to them. Dissection is the same way.
You are expecting an organization to come up with one theory of morality to guide all its members? That’s ridiculuos.
No. I’d be happy if there were <i>any</i> theory of morality that could justify animal rights remotely like the ones that PETA supports. I don’t think there is <i>any</i>. So if you’d like to offer one, go back to the three paragraphs where I analyze the problems with animal rights theories, and offer me a better theory than the ones I shot down. And beyond that, explain to me how 1) it’s okay for animals to eat animals, according to PETA; 2) humans are <i>just another animal</i>, according to PETA; 3) humans can’t eat animals. How does that work? Evolution made us omnivores; it’s natural for us to eat meat. Either humans are different from animals, so that they have special <i>moral</i> duties, or they’re not, in which case they can eat like other omnivores. Which one, Arac?
Where do you find any basis for drawing a moral line between people and animals, but not at specific ethnicities of people? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s because it is your subjective, moral opinion which cannot really be effectively rationalized without just as many holes as in the PETA argument).
You wouldn’t buy my real reason – that there is something beyond biology that distinguishes humans from animals. You probably wouldn’t buy the slightly less metaphysical idea that humans have self-awareness and thus free will, while animals are only aware of their surroundings and hence purely reactive (and not free agents). There’s still plenty to distinguish humans from animals. First, there is more variation between people of the same ethnicity, than between any two ethnicities. Second, all humans can reproduce together. Third, only humans have a language that goes beyond simple commands/mating calls/warnings of danger. Fourth, only humans follow laws separate from natural instinct. In short, there are countless ways in which humans just behave <i>differently</i> from other animals. That, in addition to the argument (which most people take seriously) that humans are <i>fundamentally</i> different from animals, whether by presence of a soul, or by unique place in the eyes of whatever entity or moral absolute governs the universe.
Or, if we tested it on humans, there’s a way better shot the exact same medicine would work on us.
Sinistral mentioned infecting mice with cancer. Is that something you’d test on consenting humans? Or is that sort of research just out of the question? So that the only way to test cancer treatments, which may or may not be physically devastating, is on desperate people who think they might be cured. There are good reasons why medicine is not tested on people until it’s been thoroughly tested on animals. I’m sure Sinistral can explain why more thoroughly than me.
Humans you wish to preserve mostly out of squeamishness and sentinmentality. Unless you mean to argue from an evolutionary perspective, in which case my arguments about letting the weak die to better the strong stands.
I don’t rely on the incidentals of biology to justify preserving a human life. If the only thing keeping you from killing someone is that fluffy emotions run through you at the proper times, I’m curious what happens when you’re genuinely angry. Is the only thing that holds you back the fact that a law exists to punish you? <i>I</i> believe that there’s more behind human nature than what the incidentals of evolution have produced.
You’re also coming at this from an incredibly one-sided perspective, I think, where you decided you were against them and interpreted your psuedo-facts so as not to be wrong; there are still plenty of groups which endorse far more than assault and for reasons even you would probably agree are worse than trying to make things better for animals (like, say, trying to kill all black people).
No, it’s me personally sneering at someone who thinks that attacks on the social order are a bad thing. It’s just this tragically laughable, petulant little obsessive compulsive social opinion that reminds me of when I was very young and my cousin insisted on going off on a certain side path every time we went to the park by my house, and if he forgot, we had to backtrack and do it or he would through a hissy fit. I typed “lol” because I laughed out loud at your notion.
I’m not even arguing that PETA’s particularly good, I’m arguing that of all the slightly goofy ideological groups out there in America, the fact that you pick them as your absolute most hated shows that either you are very ignorant, believe violent, genocidal prejudice is more moral than vegetarianism, or didn’t think through a statement you made, but refused to abandon it when it was pointed out to you how ridiculous it was. I mean, the KKK is still around, for God’s sake. You’d rather have them in charge than a group of silly animal lovers who use ineffective, theatrical tactics to achieve their ends?
I’m fairly certain you missed what I was trying to say. What I was trying to say is that an amount that was enough to be “meaningful” in determining whether or not killing a fish is wrong isn’t something science can really objectively handle. Maybe I think if the fish has nerves at all, the amount of pain they could transmit to even the most primitive brain is enough to matter. You obviously don’t find this amount meaningful enough. This is a debate science cannot solve; it can tell how much pain they feel, but it cannot really tell people if that amount is meaningful.
You’re right, I’m wrong. It’s way worse than bombing abortion clinics and killing or maiming everyone inside.
If you demonstrated a working memory even close to the human norms, you might recall the main reasoning behind my argument being that they are far from the worst organization out there. Because yes, perjury falls quite a ways short of out and out murder, which isn’t really so uncommon in modern America as you seem to think.
I note again that you’ve yet to cite a source (besides the oh-so-reliable Fox News) for anything you’ve stated.
I’m sure cutting open organs is a very valuable skill at NYU Law. I know it’s helping me as an IR student at Brown. I could count the days on one hand I’ve had to go without butchering a wild boar in Russian class.
However, none of the other subjects you mentioned involve doing something with a dead thing that may have been killed in a horrible way and may not have been killed if it weren’t for this. If this falls against one’s moral convictions, one should not be mandated to do it. One should also be made aware of these two facts, such that one can consider them. I think most would still decide to dissect. That’s fine. It’s their decision.
I’ve said already my support of PETA ends at the passage of laws, for the most part
All life is sacred seems to work pretty well. Because your beloved quote “total animal liberation” actually states that, yes, killing mosquitoes is wrong.
As a moral theory, it is doomed to failure in practice, which someone like yourself would, I imagine, hate. With that in mind, one must find the best way to live within that moral framework with the awareness one will not be perfect. This is why some choose vegetarian, pescetarian, or vegan, seeking to minimize the negative aspect of animals’ lives, knowing that while life is sacred, death is necessary, and it is the experience and treatment in life that actually matters.
I believe animals (and plants) have souls, as well. So I buy it, I just think you’re narrow-minded.
The animal cognition class at Brown seems to largely indicate otherwise. Some of the more intelligent animals display what pretty clearly fits most definitions of self-awareness (free will is pretty metaphysical and hard to prove, either way, still).
Yes, I do. Humans can consent. If human test subjects are available, they’re both practically and morally preferable to animals.
No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is that there are two perspectives which justify wanting to keep other humans alive. One of them is fluffy sentimentality because you believe human life matters from a moral perspective. The morality that it’s not okay to kill humans for convenience is just as based in squeamishness and sentimentality as the same morality concerning animals. If you base it in an evolutionary perspective, where we intent to make sure our species survives, one cannot really justify keeping large segments of the population alive.
First, there is more variation between people of the same ethnicity, than between any two ethnicities.
If you mean social variation, then yes. If you mean genetic variation, then no. In fact, all humans are pretty similar.
Second, all humans can reproduce together.
This is actually true of any species, and even closely related genii.
Fourth, only humans follow laws separate from natural instinct.
There is social behaviour that exists in many species (e.g. beavers, chimpanzees, Norwegian rat) not acquired by innate ability but rather by social learning, but it all depends on what you mean by “natural instinct”, I suppose.
It is true, though, that humans are the only ones with a complex communication system with abstractions and symbols.
You keep coming back to this point, which possibly could be, “Because blowing people up and maiming them and committing genocide are worse than 1) maliciously destroying property, 2) committing assaults, and 3) falsely testifying that business owners committed felonies, that means 1-3 are all okay.” This line of thinking refuses to admit degrees of evil (or offense, or whatever you prefer to call it). Instead, it says, “An act is only evil if nothing is regularly done that is <i>more</i> evil.” Somehow, in your view, KKK lynchers and abortion-clinic bombers give PETA members license to destroy property, commit assaults, and falsely testify. Besides eviscerating any possibility of a consistent moral system, this argument is practically retarded.
The other possibility is that you’re arguing that there are worse things than PETA for me to despise. In that case, see below.
I didn’t say, “I absolutely most hate PETA.” What I said was,
What I “absolutely most hate” and what I “despise little more than” are quite different. First, there are groups I despise more than PETA. Like the KKK, which you point out. But there’s no point harping on what’s wrong with the KKK, since almost everyone already agrees on that. Second, if a group is truly malevolent and seeks solely and maliciously to cause harm, then I wouldn’t “despise” it; I would “hate” it. A terrorist organization which seeks solely to harm and disrupt the lives of Americans, I would hate; not despise, as I despise PETA. So there’s nothing particularly disproportionate about my spite for PETA.
I’m fairly certain you missed what I was trying to say. What I was trying to say is that an amount that was enough to be “meaningful” in determining whether or not killing a fish is wrong isn’t something science can really objectively handle.
You were saying two things, in fact: 1) that scientists don’t use terms like “meaningful degree of pain”; and 2) what’s “meaningful” cannot be objectively measured. I responded mainly to 1. Regarding 2: It’s true, neither a scientist nor anyone else can justify picking out a certain degree of pain as meaningful while another degree is not. But when the amount of pain that a fish feels on dying is roughly equivalent to that of a pinprick or a slap on the wrist, most people would agree that <i>pain alone</i> is not a valid justification for protecting fish. If science can tell us what it feels like to be the fish, common sense can take care of the rest.
I note again that you’ve yet to cite a source (besides the oh-so-reliable Fox News) for anything you’ve stated.
I note that you haven’t given empirical evidence of anything at all. Regardless: Give me the proposition you question, and I’ll find the source.
None of the other subjects you mentioned involve doing something with a dead thing that may have been killed in a horrible way and may not have been killed if it weren’t for this. If this falls against one’s moral convictions, one should not be mandated to do it. One should also be made aware of these two facts, such that one can consider them. I think most would still decide to dissect. That’s fine. It’s their decision.
You presume every dissected animal was killed in a horrible way. First, if by “horrible” you mean “extremely painful,” that’s a totally unfair presumption about how animals are killed. Second, if it’s okay to kill animals, I fail to see the problem with them experiencing the pain that comes with being killed. Again, giving humans anesthetics does not make it okay to kill them and cut them apart. In your eyes, humans are just one more animal. Pain doesn’t enter the equation in making human-killing wrong. So why does “pain” even enter the equation in killing animals? It seems like you’re just being squeamish.
And yet you donate money to them, speak favorably of their purpose of “total animal liberation,” and vehemently defend the philosophy behind the organization.
How tragic. Every time we turn on the sprinkler system, we murder thousands of innocent ants and worms, all so that we can enjoy the benefit of prettier grass!
You’re wrong: I don’t “hate” your theory that we should struggle to protect even low-level organisms. I despise it. It speaks of a society that’s become so far removed from the struggle to survive, so <i>spoiled</i> by modern technology and our seclusion from nature, that its members can actually get away with acting like squeamish children. “Don’t step on that grass – I think I see an ant! Don’t wash your hair – there’s a flea in there! Don’t eat animal products – scientists can synthesize compounds that mimic them!”
And somehow, this is supposed to be the “natural” way to live. I’m still waiting for you to answer this:
PETA says humans are just animals, and entitled to no more respect than animals. And yet PETA would prevent only humans from harming animals. So PETA is really saying that animal rights <i>exceed</i> human rights. How do <i>you</i> explain this? It strikes me as the product of irrational squeamishness.
How do you judge a “negative aspect” of life? Is it a “negative aspect” of a gazelle’s life to be eaten by a lion? Is it a “negative aspect” of a lion’s life to starve for lack of a gazelle to eat? Explain how you’d resolve this quandary.
Maybe you’ll argue, “Lions have no self-awareness to decide against eating gazelle, nor means to survive without eating gazelle. So it’s okay for them to do so.” In that case, it must be okay for humans to kill and eat a gazelle if it seems necessary to survive. That’s something not every PETA member would agree with.
But to push this further, let’s say a lion were given artificial tablets that had the nutritional value of meat. I assume you’d forgive the lion if it rejected the tablets and ate a gazelle instead, because the lion didn’t know there was something wrong with eating a gazelle. Now, just like the lion, I don’t “know” there’s anything wrong with eating gazelle; in fact, I believe wholeheartedly that it’s just fine. Does that mean its okay for me to eat gazelle, but not you?
A hallmark of a bad theory is its susceptibility to reductio ad absurdum. Your theory of “minimizing negative aspects of life, with special limitations on human behavior” is riddled with little absurdities just waiting to be revealed.
Good heavens, an <i>Animal Cognition</i> professor at <i>Brown University</i> believes animals are aware like humans? Next you’ll be telling me a Gay Rights professor in the NYU Women’s Studies department believes open gays should be allowed in the military.
I’m just listing ways that humans can be <i>physically</i> and <i>categorically</i> distinguished from other animals. I was responding to your argument that I could just as easily separate humans by ethnicity as separate humans from animals. But the truth is, there <i>are</i> behaviors which only humans (and virtually all humans) have in common. Humans of <i>all</i> ethnicities speak complicated languages, reproduce together, and follow explicitly dictated laws. Chimpanzees may be genetically related to humans, but they can’t reproduce with humans, speak complicated languages, or follow explicitly dictated laws.
I’m not entirely clear on what you’re getting at here, but you seem to be asking, “Why do a few unique human behaviors privilege them with more rights than animals?” And the answer is, it depends where you think rights come from. Some would say God or some other Absolute. Some would say the Natural Order of the universe. Some would say rights just foster survival of the group, and have no deeper purpose. The point is that, if there are <i>obvious</i> differences between humans and animals (as there are), you can easily point to them as evidence that we were <i>meant</i> to have a different status from animals. And that’s been the view of most societies (including ours) throughout history. The point is, when PETA argues that humans should be treated like animals because there’s nothing to distinguish us from animals, it falls flat – there <i>are</i> things to distinguish us, and most people believe those differences are manifestations of our unique human nature.
In response to Cless Alvein, on the same set of points:
First, I said, “There is more variation between people of the same ethnicity, than between any two ethnicities.” You said, no, there isn’t much variation between humans at all. Which leads me to believe you misread my statement. What I’m saying is, what distinguishes the two <i>most different</i> white people, is much greater than what distinguishes white people from black people. This is what I was taught in multiple classes on evolutionary biology. Are you disagreeing with that?
Second, in response to Arac saying that distinguishing humans from animals had no more basis than distinguishing one ethnicity from another, I pointed out that all humans can reproduce together. I was offering a physical category under which all humans could be united: ability to reproduce together. I know very well that that’s true of all species, and that it even extends to other species in the genus sometimes. My point was not that humans are <i>special</i> because they can all reproduce with one another. My point is that, like <i>all</i> species, humans can reproduce with one another, and hence form a biologically distinguishable category.
Third, I understand that other animals exhibit social behavior. I was pointing out that only humans follow <i>laws</i>, which are abstractions that are explicitly set forth for all members of a community to abide by. That goes significantly beyond social behavior.
First, you said we should “minimize the negative aspects of life.” Does giving consent erase the “negative aspect” of contracting cancer? That seems odd: you suffer either way. Wouldn’t it be better to infect a mouse, which has less mental capacity and thus less ability to suffer? So problem #1 is explaining why consent erases the “negative aspect” of life you spoke of earlier.
Second, doesn’t it matter how knowledgeable the consent was? I can <i>say</i>, “Sure, test AIDS on me,” but is it moral to infect me with AIDS if I don’t <i>know</i> the suffering involved? I can say, “Kill me and use my body for research,” but if I say that on the day my family died in a car crash and my girlfriend dumped me, is it moral to act on my brief and impulsive consent? Problem #2 is explaining either a) why consent need not be knowledgeable, or b) how to tell when consent is truly knowledgeable.
Third, it’s a little strange that, because humans can say the word “yes,” that makes it uniquely okay to do things to humans that can’t be done to any animal. Consent is just an expression of an inward feeling. So if we can prove that an animal would rather be researched on than left in the wild (maybe it <i>keeps coming back</i>), does that mean it’s okay to research on it? Problem #3 is explaining how to deal with consent by animals versus humans.
In short, this entire scheme of animal rights is a hodgepodge of ad hoc justifications for sentimental and irrational behavior. There’s no consistency. There’s no absolute uniting principle. It’s riddled with susceptibilities to reductio ad absurdum. More importantly, it’s repulsively <i>unnatural</i>. It argues that humans should feel guilty about their very existence, which causes other miniscule organisms to suffer. It argues that humans should reject their very biology, which desires and thrives on meat. PETA not only seeks to impose this set of views by legal and political action; it approves of its members who break the law to further the cause of animal rights. This is the case even when breaking the law might ruin the lives of innocent people who happen to stand in the way of PETA’s objectives. PETA condones its members lying in court to get business owners convicted of felonies. PETA condones physically assaulting those who in various ways fail to respect “animal rights.”
And for all that, I don’t claim that I hate PETA. They are not a malevolent group with the sole intention to disrupt and harm our society. I simply despise them, both for their unnatural and morally inexplicable objectives, and the violent and illegal means by which PETA seeks to achieve them.
For the record, it would be impossible to do research without animals and only on humans for many reasons, mainly the amount of time it takes to set up new generations of breedable animals. It takes weeks for mice to mature. It takes years for humans. This makes any work involving human genetics impossible. I’m not even touching on resources and logistics and the practicality of it.