Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

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Ishkah
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Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Ishkah »

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I'm going to be debating why I think we should be reintroducing predators to damaged eco-systems against this transhumanist guy Avi:

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And I'll reach out to other channels on the subject also. So I would love some feedback on my notes beforehand.

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**Index**

1. Debate Prop

2. Natural Language Arguments

3. Formal Language Versions of The Same Arguments

4. Frequently Asked Questions


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**1. Debate Prop**

I'm considering proposing the debate prop be the below:

In Short - We should for the most part & for now respect wild animals' right to breed, kill other animals and live full lives in wild habitat.

In Depth - We should hold the preference of desiring to grant collective legal rights for non-human animals to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat in terms of our relationshiip to them, where they aren’t subject to human cruelty. So where they can for the most part breed, kill other animals, and potentially live long lives in wild habitat uninhibited by humans. With the few exceptions where for example animals have been domesticated and so it would be cruel to release them into the wild and so where ideally we should let them live out their potentially long lives before a natural death/euthenasia, or where the law is overridden by right to self-defence or by special dispensation from the government for example to practice some scientific testing to cure diseases or a compulsory purchase act where suitable provisions are made for the wellbeing of the animals being relocated or where it would be good to breed and keep guide dogs for the blind, etc.

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**2. Natural Language Arguments**

2a. Virtue Ethics - Respect for Animal Capabilities


If the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not 'how similar to us they are', but their 'real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value' and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable then; the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought to extend these freedoms to animals.

So a holistic worldview of not wanting to reduce both the quality and quantity of positive experiences humans can have with animals, as well as animals with other animals.

2b. Existentialist Ethics - Property Rights for Animals

If you desire the ability to live a full life on your property because it satisfies a desire you have to meet your basic needs and you’re in favor of guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can't defend themselves then; you should really desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protect their legal rights in court through the appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith.

This centers the discussion on how you may be excluding other groups because it's the social norm. If there's one on average norm that unites existentialists in their rejection of universalist ethics, it's that of the desire to live authentically, so not acting in a way you don't believe due to outside social pressures, like that acting without compassion is necessary to what it means to be a man.

Everyone has some values they were brought up with that inform their meta-ethical system. It’s up to us to test out those values as we go along against new ones we discover and decide what kind of world we want to live in. We are meaning-seeking creatures innately, we can if we chose to, seek the happy flourishing of ourselves and others in the process, instead of living a life predicated on taking from others happy flourishing unnecessarily.

Getting to a stage in human civilization where we are able to derive meaning from compassionately caring for the basic needs of every person could be a great thing, just like we could find meaning in getting to see more land freed up for wildlife, where animals are able to express all their capabilities.

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**3. Formal Language Versions of The Same Arguments**

3a. Virtue Ethics - Respect for Animal Capabilities


P1) If the wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not 'how similar to us they are', but their 'real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value' and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable THEN the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought to extend these freedoms to animals.

P2) The wonder that we experience in viewing wild animals is not 'how similar to us they are', but their 'real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value' and one sufficient reason we grant this freedom at least to a basic extent to humans is they have a desire to achieve what they find valuable.

C) Therefore the fact non-human animals experience this desire too means we ought to extend these freedoms to animals.

3b. Existentialist Ethics - Property Rights for Animals

P1) If I should desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs THEN I should desire guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can't defend themselves

P2) I should desire the ability to live a full life on my property because it satisfies a desire I have to meet my basic needs

C1) Therefore I should desire guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can't defend themselves

P3) If I should desire guardianship laws to protect this ability for severely mentally disabled people in court because they can't defend themselves THEN I should desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protect their legal rights in court through the appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith

C2) Therefore I desire non-human animals who also have these needs have a legal right to their wild habitat as property and should enjoy guardianship laws which protect their legal rights in court through the appointment of a guardian to represent the case of one or a group of animals unless another reason is specified on pain of living in bad faith

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**4. Frequently Asked Questions**

Q: If a human child were about to be attacked and devoured by a lion, wouldn't stopping that be the right thing to do? Why then should we be obligated to allow the lion to devour the gazelle?

A: Hearing about any human getting killed by a predator reduces most humans' quality of life because we know most of our interests are to be separate from wild animals. So putting in infrastructure and training with guns to prevent avoidable loss of human life brings us meaning.

If you put up a wall around half the planet to separate carnivores and herbivores and just chucked the carnivores lab-grown meat, herbivores would just be frustrated they couldn't roam in the way they want to & carnivores would experience a worse quality of life for not being able to express their capabilities, so there would be less pain in the world in the case of animals eating each other, but there would be much less happy flourishing, which is suffering animals gladly take on to get to experience, like putting up with annoying offspring in order to have offspring, so a worse state of affairs.

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Q: If a group of humans who couldn’t experience empathy chose to live in dense wildlife habitat, hunting and being nomadic... and aliens who similarly couldn’t empathise or understand ethics came down and started living among them hunting only those humans who couldn’t empathise... but not to extinction, and serving an ecological niche, would you try to stop them?

A: If the humans had been seperate from modern society for 150 years I would have nothing inherently against the aliens doing that, but I would still be tempted to kill off the aliens out of simple symbolic loyalty to my own kind.

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Q: Does having no strong arguments against amoral aliens coming down and killing amoral humans hurt the case for veganism?

A: No, it helps keep the legal animal rights movement stay focused on preventing the harm that we are responsible for. So it helps people understand:

1) The really clear timeline of how we destroyed wild habitat and domesticed prey animals to live these lives of confinemnt and desires with no abiility to express them. &...

2) How now with modern technology we can restore wild habitat and free up land for the animals common wild ancestors to express their capabalities in.

If aliens capable of understanding ethics came down and had interests to kill any sentient life where they could just eat plants, of course that would still be unjustifiable under the ethical system I advocate for. And that situation relates to almost everyone on earth.

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Q. Don’t you have a double standard where you’re willing to see animals harmed more than humans, why wouldn’t it be okay to set predators on a human society which was overpopulated?

A. We can reason with people, get them to use birth control, and drown them in gifts to get them to see the error of their ways. The reason to re-introduce predators is so you can maximize a net global calculus of happy flourishing in the world, where animals are getting to express their capabilities in dense wildlife habitat as opposed to the mono-culture environments lack in species diversity causes.

Art, science, roads, houses, and hospitals bring humans happy flourishing, it's what most people desire to put their mind towards to improve on the humble jungle shack.

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Q: But even ideally, wouldn’t you want to see us give lab-grown meat to carnivores?

A: No, humans accept suffering to get to continue living in their habitat. No impoverished community would accept being helicoptered away from everything that makes them them to live in some sky rise. It's the same for animals and their ranges being reduced or being chucked lab-grown meat rather than getting to chase down prey. I'm not arbitrarily discriminating against animals here, hence not speciesist.

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Q: What if Venus flytraps evolved into massively complex slaughterhouses to confine and kill large mammals in nature, would you not intervene?

A: For sure I would, I can accept many interventions, like rescuing injured wildlife, curing animal viruses, etc. The reason to allow predators is they preserve a more complex ecology where more animals can experience happy flourishing.

And if people accept my arguments, then they are obligated to be vegan and try to alleviate the pain of any large animals they come across where the consequences for one’s self isn’t dramatic, the same way you should get your shoes wet to rescue a child drowning in a canal.

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Q: How is letting carnivores kill other animals vegan?

A: I define veganism as simply “an animal products boycott.”

I make the point of saying it’s one campaign tactic among many, aimed primarily at achieving the end of animal agriculture.

And that personally I see the principle behind the action as being grounded in the legal animal rights movement, seeking collective legal rights for animals to have a refuge in dense wildlife habitat where they aren’t subject to human cruelty. In a similar way to how the act of boycotting South African products or the act of boycotting the Montgomery bus company was grounded in a larger civil rights movement.

The concept behind veganism has roots going back as far as ancient India and the vegan society didn't even bother trying to come up with various definitions for 20 years or so, they just knew they wanted to start their own society after a series of debates in which they voiced their concern that we should also be advocating the boycott of the dairy and egg industries, for both consequentialist welfare concerns and deontological rights-based concerns.

For further reading check out: How to simply explain what veganism is and argue for it

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Q: Aren't you using happy flourishing in a weird way here?

A: Maybe, I'm still developing my virtue-existentialist ethics. For further reading check out this essay by Martha Nussbaum called Beyond Compassion and Humanity; Justice for Non-human Animals. I think she contradicts herself when she denies the entailments of her philosophy are that one should not kill animals for taste pleasure & that we should respect animals' right to bodily integrity, play & control over one's environment. But otherwise, it's a great essay sketching out the case for valuing all animals' autonomy to seek meaning on our own terms to a basic degree:
It goes beyond the contractarian view in its starting point, a basic wonder at living beings, and a wish for their flourishing and for a world in which creatures of many types flourish. It goes beyond the intuitive starting point of utilitarianism because it takes an interest not just in pleasure and pain [and interests], but in complex forms of life. It wants to see each thing flourish as the sort of thing it is. . .[and] that the dignity of living organisms not be violated.
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Q: But don't conservationists typically re-introduce predators for selfish aesthetically-driven reasons or out of the fallacious belief that nature is good in itself and should be maintained?

A: Yes, that's fair, which is why I don't promote terms like rewilding and just use the term managed wildlife habitat.

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Q: Isn't the natural world full of suffering?


A: Suffering is a necessary part of happy flourishing.

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Q: This all still just reads as speciesism, no?

A: I see it as speciesist to not let animals express their capabilities in their wild habitat. Most people who raise the issue of wild animal suffering want to treat non-human animals like infant humans who if they were as intellectually capable as us in adulthood would want to separate themselves off from wild habitat also. It's fanciful.

If adult humans want to risk their life living out in the middle of nowhere in bear country, they're welcome to. We can still protect our young and disabled, knowing most of us grow up to have interests to be separate from wildlife habitat, other animals simply don't.

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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Pattern-chaser »

TL:DR

Sorry.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Ishkah »

Pattern-chaser wrote:TL:DR
To what degree does it or should it align with our preference to intervene in wildlife habitats? Should we dedicate funds to killing invasive species where the consequences for wild animal diversity is dramatic and we are the cause? Should we eat a plant based diet so as to incentivise growing plants which take less land to produce than animal products so that along with decreasing urban sprawl we can restore more land to wildlife habitat? Or should we go the anti-natalist route and be sterilising animals, shooting predators and bulldozing wildlife habitat such that most of the world is taken up by humans, with just a few zoos with wide open grasslands existing in order to combat wild animal suffering longterm?

The main argument I expect to have to deal with is... If a group of humans who couldn’t experience empathy chose to live in dense wildlife habitat, hunting and being nomadic... and aliens who similarly couldn’t empathise or understand ethics came down and started living among them hunting only those humans who couldn’t empathise... but not to extinction, and serving an ecological niche, would you try to stop them?

And my answer is... If the humans had been seperate from modern society for 150 years I would have nothing inherently against the aliens doing that, but I would still be tempted to kill off the aliens out of simple symbolic loyalty to my own kind.

If aliens capable of understanding ethics came down and had interests to kill any sentient life where they could just eat plants though, of course that would still be unjustifiable under the ethical system I advocate for. And that situation relates to almost everyone on earth.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Ishkah »

Edit:

Or should we go the negative utilitarian almost* anti-natalist route...

If a group of humans who couldn’t experience empathy or understand ethics*...

^This is an in a vacuum hypothetical, like the trolley problem, it doesn't matter whether amoral aliens and humans are possible.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Protagoras »

Ishkah wrote: July 20th, 2021, 2:43 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:TL:DR
To what degree does it or should it align with our preference to intervene in wildlife habitats? Should we dedicate funds to killing invasive species where the consequences for wild animal diversity is dramatic and we are the cause? Should we eat a plant based diet so as to incentivise growing plants which take less land to produce than animal products so that along with decreasing urban sprawl we can restore more land to wildlife habitat? Or should we go the anti-natalist route and be sterilising animals, shooting predators and bulldozing wildlife habitat such that most of the world is taken up by humans, with just a few zoos with wide open grasslands existing in order to combat wild animal suffering longterm?

The main argument I expect to have to deal with is... If a group of humans who couldn’t experience empathy chose to live in dense wildlife habitat, hunting and being nomadic... and aliens who similarly couldn’t empathise or understand ethics came down and started living among them hunting only those humans who couldn’t empathise... but not to extinction, and serving an ecological niche, would you try to stop them?

And my answer is... If the humans had been seperate from modern society for 150 years I would have nothing inherently against the aliens doing that, but I would still be tempted to kill off the aliens out of simple symbolic loyalty to my own kind.

If aliens capable of understanding ethics came down and had interests to kill any sentient life where they could just eat plants though, of course that would still be unjustifiable under the ethical system I advocate for. And that situation relates to almost everyone on earth.

Can you not distinguish between animals and humans?

You are just being a moralist here.

Those who equate all humans with animals have got their base axiom wrong,thus all their "logic" is flawed.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

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Ishkah wrote: July 20th, 2021, 2:43 am To what degree does it or should it align with our preference to intervene in wildlife habitats? Should we dedicate funds to killing invasive species where the consequences for wild animal diversity is dramatic and we are the cause? Should we eat a plant based diet so as to incentivise growing plants which take less land to produce than animal products so that along with decreasing urban sprawl we can restore more land to wildlife habitat? Or should we go the anti-natalist route and be sterilising animals, shooting predators and bulldozing wildlife habitat such that most of the world is taken up by humans, with just a few zoos with wide open grasslands existing in order to combat wild animal suffering longterm?

The main argument I expect to have to deal with is... If a group of humans who couldn’t experience empathy chose to live in dense wildlife habitat, hunting and being nomadic... and aliens who similarly couldn’t empathise or understand ethics came down and started living among them hunting only those humans who couldn’t empathise... but not to extinction, and serving an ecological niche, would you try to stop them?

And my answer is... If the humans had been seperate from modern society for 150 years I would have nothing inherently against the aliens doing that, but I would still be tempted to kill off the aliens out of simple symbolic loyalty to my own kind.

If aliens capable of understanding ethics came down and had interests to kill any sentient life where they could just eat plants though, of course that would still be unjustifiable under the ethical system I advocate for. And that situation relates to almost everyone on earth.
OK. I see little here to disagree with, and therefore little to discuss. We could debate superficial details, perhaps, but there's nothing here that I consider contentious.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

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Protagoras wrote: July 20th, 2021, 4:43 am Can you not distinguish between animals and humans?

You are just being a moralist here.

Those who equate all humans with animals have got their base axiom wrong,thus all their "logic" is flawed.
I can in many ways, humans have human DNA for one thing and there are millions of traits we could attribute to a species norm of what it's like to be human.

Why is talking about ethical preferences bad? And why do you think I'm equating humans and animals. Humans as a species norm through their intellegence have a greater capability to acheive higher levels of happy flourishing and lower levels of painful stultifying, so our experiences are more important to me personally.

But most importantly what point of argument are you taking issue with in my posts?
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Protagoras »

Ishkah wrote: July 20th, 2021, 8:45 am
Protagoras wrote: July 20th, 2021, 4:43 am Can you not distinguish between animals and humans?

You are just being a moralist here.

Those who equate all humans with animals have got their base axiom wrong,thus all their "logic" is flawed.
I can in many ways, humans have human DNA for one thing and there are millions of traits we could attribute to a species norm of what it's like to be human.

Why is talking about ethical preferences bad? And why do you think I'm equating humans and animals. Humans as a species norm through their intellegence have a greater capability to acheive higher levels of happy flourishing and lower levels of painful stultifying, so our experiences are more important to me personally.

But most importantly what point of argument are you taking issue with in my posts?

You equate human rights with animal rights by analogy.

And you are trying to give your "ethical preferences" some kind of normative or scientific value. To me,that's moralising.

I don't believe in animal cruelty,but even so animals across the board do not have the same rights as humans.
Humans can eat some animals with zero problems or moral blame.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

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Protagoras wrote:You equate human rights with animal rights by analogy.
Do you mean this?:

"If aliens capable of understanding ethics came down and had interests to kill any sentient life where they could just eat plants though, of course that would still be unjustifiable under the ethical system I advocate for. And that situation relates to almost everyone on earth."

The guiding preference calculations I would desire the aliens have is the same one for humans and non-human animals, that of do these animals have interests and habits for things they like to do each day and a desire to express their capabilities in persuit of those goals to acheive happy flourishing... and can I limit the amount of suffering I cause them by simply eating plants?

But the conclusion I would desire the aliens come to for different species is different and in no way equates human right to life as the same as non-human animals right to life. For example I would be comfortable with aliens making the calculation that they are comfortable squishing a bug on landing their spaceship in the persuit of what brings them happy flourishing. I wouldn't be ok with them making the calculation that it's ok to breed and keep captive animals for the arbitrary line in the sand that they can't as a species norm be taught to perform complicated mathematical equations.
Protagoras wrote:And you are trying to give your "ethical preferences" some kind of normative or scientific value. To me,that's moralising.
The reasons why I have the ethical preferences that I do, and why I advocate others over to some of the broad principles I hold is related to broadly what types of environments I've learnt are best for people's developmental psychology, and then broadly what social structures I've learned through sociology is most conducive to people acheiving goals they find meaningful.

Do you imagine you don't have any ethical principles which are related to what we can learn through scientific diciplines? Like that randomly murdering someone generally cuts short that persons interests and so it would be good to general principles against random murder?
Protagoras wrote:I don't believe in animal cruelty,but even so animals across the board do not have the same rights as humans.
Humans can eat some animals with zero problems or moral blame.
People can hold to consistent ethical systems that for example justifies for them killing non-human animals and also disabled members of an intellegent alien species. I would just argue that any consistent ethical principle for killing non-human animals is one that leads to absurd conclusions which would be against most peoples preferences if they really had to internalise what the experience is like for an animal who has their interests to live cut short.

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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

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Protagoras wrote: July 20th, 2021, 4:43 am Those who equate all humans with animals have got their base axiom wrong, thus all their "logic" is flawed.
You sound like a Victorian, shocked by Mr Darwin's recent claims that we could possibly be descended from, and related to, animals!!! May I suggest that the wrong "base axiom" might, just possibly, be yours?
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Protagoras »

Ishkah wrote: July 20th, 2021, 9:51 am
Protagoras wrote:You equate human rights with animal rights by analogy.
Do you mean this?:

"If aliens capable of understanding ethics came down and had interests to kill any sentient life where they could just eat plants though, of course that would still be unjustifiable under the ethical system I advocate for. And that situation relates to almost everyone on earth."

The guiding preference calculations I would desire the aliens have is the same one for humans and non-human animals, that of do these animals have interests and habits for things they like to do each day and a desire to express their capabilities in persuit of those goals to acheive happy flourishing... and can I limit the amount of suffering I cause them by simply eating plants?

But the conclusion I would desire the aliens come to for different species is different and in no way equates human right to life as the same as non-human animals right to life. For example I would be comfortable with aliens making the calculation that they are comfortable squishing a bug on landing their spaceship in the persuit of what brings them happy flourishing. I wouldn't be ok with them making the calculation that it's ok to breed and keep captive animals for the arbitrary line in the sand that they can't as a species norm be taught to perform complicated mathematical equations.
Protagoras wrote:And you are trying to give your "ethical preferences" some kind of normative or scientific value. To me,that's moralising.
The reasons why I have the ethical preferences that I do, and why I advocate others over to some of the broad principles I hold is related to broadly what types of environments I've learnt are best for people's developmental psychology, and then broadly what social structures I've learned through sociology is most conducive to people acheiving goals they find meaningful.

Do you imagine you don't have any ethical principles which are related to what we can learn through scientific diciplines? Like that randomly murdering someone generally cuts short that persons interests and so it would be good to general principles against random murder?
Protagoras wrote:I don't believe in animal cruelty,but even so animals across the board do not have the same rights as humans.
Humans can eat some animals with zero problems or moral blame.
People can hold to consistent ethical systems that for example justifies for them killing non-human animals and also disabled members of an intellegent alien species. I would just argue that any consistent ethical principle for killing non-human animals is one that leads to absurd conclusions which would be against most peoples preferences if they really had to internalise what the experience is like for an animal who has their interests to live cut short.

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Your whole premise is equating humans and animals in certain ways.
I feel no guilt in killing and eating certain animals. But I would never do that to humans or pets.

Completely consistent in logic,because the animals i eat are Different to humans and pets.

Your abstract analogies and abstract "animal rights" cut no ice with me in the real world. If I kill a fly or spider or a mouse I don't feel it has rights like humans or pets. I don't empathise with those kinds of animals.

My ethical values are all through me,nothing to do
with science or academic philosophy.

Your posts don't display any kind of skill in knowing whats good ethically speaking,it just displays ivory tower thinking and an overreliance on academia.

Which in the final analysis is preaching.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

Post by Protagoras »

Pattern-chaser wrote: July 20th, 2021, 10:04 am
Protagoras wrote: July 20th, 2021, 4:43 am Those who equate all humans with animals have got their base axiom wrong, thus all their "logic" is flawed.
You sound like a Victorian, shocked by Mr Darwin's recent claims that we could possibly be descended from, and related to, animals!!! May I suggest that the wrong "base axiom" might, just possibly, be yours?

Your suggestion means zero.

If you want to identify as a baboon be my guest.

But you will never see me equate a pig with a person.

Darwin was a a bufoon.
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Re: Niche Legal Animal Rights Debates

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Oh. OK. Good luck; take care. 👍
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