Which side makes a better case?
avatar
13 Comments
  • Filter by:
  • Pro
  • Draw
  • Con
  • 10 months ago

    @sigfried This is the first time that I've come across a moral framework based on empathy. Thanks for enlightening me!

    • 10 months ago

      @kyrothehero It was a good debate. I think that empathy is how people instinctively behave so far as morality goes. It is obviously a challenging standard as it leaves us without strong guidelines and depends on something as fickle as our mood.

      I don't mean to advocate for it as a principle, but to say it stands at the root of alot of our instinctive moral views.

      I thought you did a good job advocating your position. I'll say that I think Veganism is a noble thing, well-intentioned and generally harmless provided it is balanced with some practical considerations... which you include in your views.

      I do really think that life is inherently competitive and we cannot avoid causing harm to other living things by living. But life is also inherently cooperative and we can't survive without the help of other living things.

      We have to find our balancing point, where we are perhaps giving as much as we take. I think there is an amount of eating meat that is probably fine and ethical, but that we probably exceed that in total as a species or society.

      Anyhow, I think it is a very worthy topic of reflection and I think we did come to some fairly coherent ideas, but I think the challenge is when you push those ideas to any kind of absolute, they start to break down.

    • 10 months ago

      @sigfried Also, on the topic of stepchildren:

      “One of the professors, biologist Randy Thornhill, had just coauthored A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion, which argued that rape is (in the vernacular of evolutionary biology) an adaptation, a trait encoded by genes that confers an advantage on anyone who possesses them...

      Men who neglected or even murdered their stepchildren (and killed their unfaithful wives) were fitter because they did not waste their resources on nonrelatives.

      And so on, to the fitness-enhancing value of rape. We in the 21st century, asserts evo psych, are operating with Stone Age minds.”

      http://www.newsweek.com/can-we-blame-our-bad-behavior-stone-age-genes-80349

    • 10 months ago

      @kyrothehero I can see the logic there. Though I think that is only accurate in a world of very limited resources. Other genetic lines don't necessarily harm yours, it could well be that many children with someone else are able to help your offspring succeed.

      You see that in the animal kingdom. Predators tend to be the species that attack the offspring of rivals. Competition for territory is fierce so any competing bloodlines threaten yours.

      But with an herbivore, there is usually a strength in numbers so other bloodlines are actually of value to you and competition is limited to breeding only, aka I get to breed with these females.

      I don't know if that entirely bears out, but it seems to be reflected in the nature shows I've watched.

      For humans, I suppose it depends on the environment, but we tend to do much better when we are highly cooperative. When humans do come into conflict, the more you can get on your side, the better. So your allies offspring are pretty valuable in protecting your offspring.

      I think that is why we don't see infanticide as a common human behavior or instinct except in extreme situations.

      Rape... well that I think probably was an advantage from a biological perspective, but in our modern world, it creates distrust and fear so it is no longer of any advantage and is a serious moral breach. (Though I'm sure it has always been considered wrong from the perspective of the golden rule)

    • 9 months ago

      @sigfried except the recent rise in veganism is very bad for the planet, mostly cause its almond based. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2015/oct/21/almond-milk-quite-good-for-you-very-bad-for-the-planet

    • 9 months ago

      @daniel_jongeward I think its a bit over-reach to say that almond trees are bad for the planet. They might not be an efficient use of resources, but the planet is just fine with almond trees on it.

      Just about all the produce grown in Southern California takes a lot of water and California is not a place that has an especially large amount of water. I'm looking out my window right now at a bunch of citrus trees in southern California.

      My personal pet peeve for water wasters are grass lawns. Not all of them, but most of them seem to be a big waste of resources to me. Neither pretty nor much used. (the ones that are quite pretty or commonly used get a pass from me)

    • 9 months ago

      @sigfried almonds take a ton of water to purduce. Some 100 times more than cow's milk. That's way more wastefull than people's lawns. Not saying almonds are bad, but not an evironmental sound replacement for milk and other animal by products.

    • 9 months ago

      @daniel_jongeward It's not like water simply vanishes never to be seen again. Trees take in water, they expire water vapor and store it in their bodies, they decay and release it, etc... We take in water we spit out water etc... In some places there isn't enough of it, in others there is lots of it.

      Also, as the article notes, most of almond milk is not almonds.

      Lawns I find wasteful because they don't do anything much of the time. People just have them because that's what is expected. Its just fashion. If you have kids that play outside, great. If you have a really nice looking lawn, great. But so many seem to keep them just because it's the expected norm.

      For anyone curious this has a bunch of different foods rated by water use, fun reading.
      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/food-water-footprint_n_5952862.html

  • 9 months ago

    I consider Veganism "Empathy misfire" we are apart of the natural world that eats flesh to survive and has a long history in doing so. There is nothing Immoral about us eating meat. Veganism is a privilege, but at it's root is nothing but a bunch of picky eaters with no moral high ground.

    To clarify I consider Empathy misfire a Case in where to develop strong empathy or connection to something under the assumption that it feels the same you do, without regards to the situation or environment. The viral video of the woman in the parking lot crying over the "one legged Goose" is a great example of this.

    • 9 months ago

      @daniel_jongeward I have no comment on the one-legged goose, but I am not making my argument based on empathy. Rather, I am making it based on philosophical/scientific/moral theories. Now, that doesn't mean I'm right; it's very possible that every moral standard I've proposed is completely wrong. But I'm not doing it based on empathy. My "assumption that it feels the same you do" is based on my (potentially flawed) understanding of the similarities between animal and human brains, not based on me getting sad when I see cows die (I don't).

    • 9 months ago

      @kyrothehero very good point. I wonder who holds the burden of proof. If animals have seniance, do we have to prove that they do or disprove that the don't. Both equally difficult. But in the case of suffering it's hard to measure. Heck mowing our lawns "could" produce genisidal levels of suffering and we'd never know. Lawns can't cry.

  • 7 months ago

    @kyrothehero You said its okay to kill animals if it is needed for our survival. And you said it is justifiable.

    How could you justify that? Do you think we are in some way greater than animals?

    I am a vegan(ish). So I support your side. But I fail to understand why would you say that

    • 7 months ago

      @mani_bharathy because the debate is 45 minutes long and it would make my job a LOT harder to say otherwise. I think my case is a lot stronger when we disregard survival.