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Prophiscient
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Hello

Post by Prophiscient » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:40 pm

Hi,

I'm interested in all areas of philosophy. I'm especially interested in moral philosophy. I would consider myself a subjectivist and a minimal moral realist.

I'm an atheist. I don't see any evidence that would warrant a belief in a god.

As for my diet, I mostly agree with veganism. I think that vertebrates and cephalopods are likely to have meaningful lives and that it'd be wrong to kill them without a sufficient reason (and I'd consider taste pleasure to be an insufficient reason). However, I don't think that non-cephalopod invertebrates have meaningful inner-lives, so I'm okay with eating them. I consider myself to be an invertebratarian. I'm not okay with eating vertebrates or cephalopods or their products (dairy, eggs, wool, leather, etc...), but I'm fine with eating all other invertebrates (such as clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp, crab, and lobster). I'm also fine with entomophagy (although I don't partake myself), honey, silk, snail, etc.

Anyway, this is my view, and I'm cool with talking about it.

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Red
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Post by Red » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:03 pm

Hey Prophiscient, welcome to the forum!
What makes you agree mostly with veganism, yet still have some reservations about it? I think most of us would be interested in discussing your stance. Start a new thread!
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:51 am

Welcome Prophiscient,
Prophiscient wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:40 pm
I'm fine with eating all other invertebrates (such as clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp, crab, and lobster).
I.m. ok with the clams and oysters but I don't think we have a full understanding of what a lobster may sense while being boiled.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pm

Welcome Prophiscient, awesome intro!
Jebus wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:51 am
I.m. ok with the clams and oysters but I don't think we have a full understanding of what a lobster may sense while being boiled.
Right, I think it makes sense to err on the side of caution there. Lobsters only have 100,000 neurons (less than a fruit fly), but we don't know the minimum needed for sentience and they may have a very marginal sense of it.

I think we could justify killing these animals for many non-trivial reasons, including them being pests that spoil food and spread bacteria (as fruit flies are) but going so far as to raise them for food seems quite a daring assumption if all it's providing us is taste.
In terms of catching them from the wild, then there are added environmental issues and those of by-catch.

I think I could see raising worms and some insect larvae for food, animals that can eat rotting human garbage, as an environmental measure. If you can feed worms human feces to recover nutrients and then eat the worms, that might make you greener than vegan. But lobsters IFAIK eat small animals and algae, and probably couldn't survive on human waste.

I think there'd have to be a good reason other than taste to chance it with most arthropods.

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Post by Prophiscient » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:09 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pm
Welcome Prophiscient, awesome intro!
Jebus wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:51 am
I.m. ok with the clams and oysters but I don't think we have a full understanding of what a lobster may sense while being boiled.
Right, I think it makes sense to err on the side of caution there. Lobsters only have 100,000 neurons (less than a fruit fly), but we don't know the minimum needed for sentience and they may have a very marginal sense of it.

I think we could justify killing these animals for many non-trivial reasons, including them being pests that spoil food and spread bacteria (as fruit flies are) but going so far as to raise them for food seems quite a daring assumption if all it's providing us is taste.
In terms of catching them from the wild, then there are added environmental issues and those of by-catch.

I think I could see raising worms and some insect larvae for food, animals that can eat rotting human garbage, as an environmental measure. If you can feed worms human feces to recover nutrients and then eat the worms, that might make you greener than vegan. But lobsters IFAIK eat small animals and algae, and probably couldn't survive on human waste.

I think there'd have to be a good reason other than taste to chance it with most arthropods.
Right, I'm not sure if lobsters are sentient or can feel pain, but I agree that we should err on the side of caution and assume that they probably can feel some level of pain. However, simply having the capacity to feel pain does not, in my view, mean that it's wrong to kill the animal. It means we should try to avoid causing them unnecessary pain and suffering. I think it's possible to kill animals (such as lobsters) in ways that either minimize or eliminate their experience of pain.

I don't think that lobsters have meaningful inner-lives such that it'd be wrong to kill them for food.

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Post by Prophiscient » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:10 pm

Jebus wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:51 am
Welcome Prophiscient,
Prophiscient wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:40 pm
I'm fine with eating all other invertebrates (such as clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp, crab, and lobster).
I.m. ok with the clams and oysters but I don't think we have a full understanding of what a lobster may sense while being boiled.
I'm not in favor of boiling lobsters alive (in case they can feel pain), but I'm not against killing them in principle.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:47 pm

What would be the rationale of preventing pain receptors from going off if you don't believe something is sentient?
Do you believe avoiding pain is the only interest lobsters have?

Prophiscient
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Post by Prophiscient » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:47 pm
What would be the rationale of preventing pain receptors from going off if you don't believe something is sentient?
Do you believe avoiding pain is the only interest lobsters have?
I don't know if they're sentient, but I'm in favor of preventing their pain receptors from going off just in case they are sentient and can suffer. And I don't know if avoiding pain is the only interest lobsters have, but unlike other animals, I don't believe that lobsters have an interest in remaining alive. I think we shouldn't cause them unnecessary suffering, but I don't think they have meaningful lives such that it'd be wrong to kill them painlessly.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:43 am

Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
And I don't know if avoiding pain is the only interest lobsters have, but unlike other animals, I don't believe that lobsters have an interest in remaining alive.
Technically speaking, many humans don't have an interest in remaining alive in itself. They think their consciousnesses/souls will just pass into the afterlife when they die so they're not even worried about oblivion. What they have interests in is specific things they DO while alive. Even some atheists are often uninterested in merely being alive, but want certain things that life is required to obtain.

If lobsters want something, like to eat detritus, and if engaging in that action requires lobsters to be alive, then lobsters by virtue of that desire want to be alive.
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
but I don't think they have meaningful lives such that it'd be wrong to kill them painlessly.
What if we were to, based on our own subjective evaluations, decide the same of some humans?
This seems like a problematic precedent.

Prophiscient
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Post by Prophiscient » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:43 am
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
And I don't know if avoiding pain is the only interest lobsters have, but unlike other animals, I don't believe that lobsters have an interest in remaining alive.
Technically speaking, many humans don't have an interest in remaining alive in itself. They think their consciousnesses/souls will just pass into the afterlife when they die so they're not even worried about oblivion. What they have interests in is specific things they DO while alive. Even some atheists are often uninterested in merely being alive, but want certain things that life is required to obtain.

If lobsters want something, like to eat detritus, and if engaging in that action requires lobsters to be alive, then lobsters by virtue of that desire want to be alive.
I'd argue that the vast majority of people do have an interest in remaining alive despite the fact that some believe in an afterlife. There's no such thing as an afterlife, so even if some people think that dying is in their interest (to go to heaven or wherever else), they're simply wrong. But I agree with you that living isn't good in itself. Living is instrumentally good, because it allows us to live happy lives.

But what makes you think that lobsters want to eat detritus? You're assuming a desire where I'm not necessarily convinced that one exists. Do you think that scallops want to swim? And even if lobsters do desire to eat detritus, it is only to satisfy their hunger. I don't think this means that they can live happy lives. I don't think wanting to eat detritus should grant lobsters a right to life.

I don't think that the desire to feel physical pleasure would necessarily mean that an animal has an interest in continuing to live. The desire to eat comes from a feeling of hunger. Eating merely satisfies a negative feeling. However, this doesn't, in my opinion, mean that an animal has an interest in continuing to live. I haven't seen sufficient evidence to warrant believing that lobsters have meaningful inner-lives such that it'd be wrong to kill them.
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
but I don't think they have meaningful lives such that it'd be wrong to kill them painlessly.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:43 am
What if we were to, based on our own subjective evaluations, decide the same of some humans?
This seems like a problematic precedent.
Well, it's not merely a decision that one makes. It's a conclusion that we come to based on the evidence and our reasoning. The standard I use is whether or not I think a being can lead a happy life. Humans all have similar brain structures and similarly complex nervous systems, so it wouldn't make sense to assume that some humans are incapable of living happy lives. However, lobsters have much simpler brains and nervous systems, and they don't seem to exhibit behaviors that are indicative of animals who have meaningful inner-lives.

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