In Soviet Russia, your pick takes YOU!
In Soviet Russia, your pick takes YOU!
Because they will be using their electric cars to power Mechagodzilla!!!
I dont think we will ever agree but I do have a better understanding of your position and enjoyed the conversation. Thank you.
"Simple question: Why should Google filter or censor anything? Do we even want that?"
Simple answer. No. Hell no.
This makes no sense. What bug? You searched for numbers you got the numbers. Sounds like google was working correctly at first and broken, not fixed, as the story went on.
The people who put pages of credit card numbers on the web like this have a problem, but it isnt googles problem, google cant fix it, and it's insane that they are expected to do so.
"When died in his 60s, he was intellectually about five years old. He could not have participated in the discussion we are now having."
That's probably below the line of having an understanding of right and wrong, sure. Such cases, as I wrote, are already acknowledged legally when they must be - courts do not today treat such people as having human rights, though they will try to avoid phrasing it like that it's a fact. And it's unavoidable.
"Here is the problem with your formulation; the transactional basis you have posited for ethics doesn't work for you in this case, so you are patching your model with a totally different ethical basis: aretaic ethics."
Actually it's not a patch on the model, it's a shift to an entirely different level of analysis. As I said, not everything that is wrong should be illegal, and not everything that is wrong is wrong for the same reason, or in the same way either. Torturing a moral agent is wrong, and torturing a non-agent animal is wrong, but they arent wrong in the same way or for the same reason (although torturing a moral agent may be said to be doubly wrong, since it fails by both yardsticks, whereas only one is applicable in the other case.)
"You are arguing that it is not immoral for an animal to kill a human, and I am arguing that it is immoral for a human to kill an animal."
If it is immoral for a human to kill an animal, then it would be likewise immoral for an animal to kill a human, yes. Were these two moral agents they would have an obligation to let each other be. My position is that known species of animals are not moral agents, they are incapable of moral right or wrong, their actions are not subject to our morality. It is not part of their world.
"I would also say that it would be immoral for a more advanced species to land on our planet and, unable to communicate with anything for whatever reason, proceed to exterminate all life on the planet."
Your moral outrage in such a situation would doubtless be impotent, and I would say misplaced as well. Your energy in such a situation would be better directed towards finding a way to communicate before we were exterminated. Only once that is accomplished would the moral argument have any force.
"It's the moral paradox that many people are aware of and which we suppress - the thought or knowledge that it is not morally right for us to kill and eat other animals, but we do it anyway because we think of the animals as less than ourselves."
That sounds like an awful position to be in, it must be a horrible strain to feel yourself so compromised. If you really believe this you should definitely become a vegetarian. Except plants are alive too... you poor thing, however shall you eat?
"On the fact that they are alive. Anything living animal has some moral standing. I don't see any reason to assert otherwise."
Are you a Jain? Do you walk barefoot and sweep the sidewalk as you walk to avoid stepping on a bug?
If so, I will respectfully disagree but give you credit for consistency and sincerity at least.
"The reason why rape is illegal is not because of the trauma that might be inflicted on people witnessing the rape, it is because of the trauma inflicted on the victim. "
And victims of rape are human beings, moral agents with rights that have been violated.
"That sentence is correct regardless of the species of the victim. I'm not talking about legal rights. It is objectively wrong to rape another animal, just as it is objectively wrong to kill one for pleasure."
Well now I know you did not grow up on a farm.
The notion of 'raping an animal' is just as ludicrously wrong as the notion of putting a wolf on trial for murdering sheep. Go witness the breeding of a cow or a horse sometime and get your eyes opened up.
Rape is penetration without consent. Consent is only a meaningful concept in regards to moral agents.
"It is an illustration of the possibility that abstract thought might not be restricted to humans."
I am certain that abstract thought is not restricted to humans, and eager for any evidence to demonstrate that it is not. Unfortunately this does not do it.
"That is absolutely not absurd."
Then file murder charges against a wolf. Or an alligator, a bear, a bull, I dont care. The next time a nonhuman kills a human in your area put him on trial for murder... come on. You really cant see how silly that is?
To avoid repeating myself, I just answered that line of thought here.
"I was asking "Why is it necessary for a chimp to show he can master human grammar?" You have not addressed that question."
Where I was talking about syntax you have substituted grammar. I am talking about syntax. And it would not be necessary for them to master *human* syntax specifically, were there any other syntax available to test them with I would have no objection. But it does seem that the ability to master syntax of some sort is a prerequisite for moral agency.
"If I understand your position, rights and obligations arise out of each other. In other words, if I expect you to respect my private property, then I have to respect yours. That seems reasonable, but this framework also seems to suggest that I can opt out of this arrangement; that I can steal from you as long as I'm OK with you stealing from me."
I dont think that I am suggesting it, but yes, that seems an accurate description of the reality. People do have the choice to go wild, to go outlaw, to rob and steal and rape until they are put down, and some people do so.
But those who behave like humans should be treated like humans.
"Your framework also suggests that children have no human rights until they have the developed the cognitive capabilities to understand their responsibilities. "
In a sense, yes. An infant is not an active moral agent, but that is still clearly what it is here to become. I would argue that this puts it in a special class of its own, but at worst, if we deny it any moral rights at that stage, aggression against it would still violate the rights of the infants parents or guardians.
"Likewise mentally handicapped people could be murdered since they can't understand the philosophical bases of the anti-murder bargain."
You may be the second person today to read that into what I am saying and I must think you do not know any mentally handicapped people, because in my experience that paints them with far too broad a brush.
That said, yes, there are some very severe cases where that would apply. But that is already acknowledged in law today - you may have heard of not guilty by reason of mental incapacity?
We dont just a priori define the mentally handicapped as animals, and we shouldnt, the strong presumption is that if you are human and not in a coma you are a moral agent. (And even in a coma you still retain rights based on the presumption you still have a chance to wake up. Only in extreme cases where it appears there is no chance left do we tend to pull the plug.) But at the same time we sometimes find people not responsible for their options, and at that point they do lose their rights, become subject to arbitrary detention, made wards of the state, etc.
"Likewise under your framework torturing an animal is OK, as long as the animal isn't capable of understanding the philosophical basis for why torturing animals is wrong."
This is emphatically incorrect.
Torturing an animal is not a violation of the animals rights, but the notion that anything that does not involve the violation of rights is "OK" is quite an unsupported leap. At the most there may be an argument to be made that this should not be intrinsically *illegal*. There are many things that are not OK, that are bad things, that nonetheless may not be illegal and maybe should not be illegal.
Torturing an animal, in particular, is a horribly dehumanizing thing to do - to yourself. Without taking a position at the moment on whether it should be illegal or not (it seems to me that's a deep subject and any good answer would probably be fairly long and nuanced, not a straightforward yes or no) it is certainly far from "OK."
Dad was a Rugged Man. Rugged, ate meat that was still mooing, Smoked Cuban Cigars and swilled the finest Whiskey.
Explains why I keep trying to refill myself with Johnny Walker Blue.
If you have such trouble grasping the distinction between bullying each other and maintaining pack solidarity like every other species of social animals on one hand, and a moral agent who has a full theory of mind and the ability to sacrifice his own life for an abstract ideal, then I guess this conversation is simply beyond you at this point in your life.
"Exactly, well put. It is entirely moral for me to torment a retarded child, who can't understand or return respect to me."
Are you even trying?
If it's wrong to torture an animal it's certainly wrong to torture a child, and if you think a retarded child cannot understand or return your respect you clearly do not know any. So you failed to address the argument in a compound fashion - you shot at the wrong target, and missed everything!