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brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
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Re: Hello

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:03 pm

Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
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.
If somebody has no concept of something, e.g. does not understand the concept or distinction between life and death, then how can that person be said to have an interest in one or the other?

That seems to be the same case made against simple non-humans.
Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
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.
My point is that by vice of that wrongness those people do not understand the concept of life and death.

We can talk about idealized interests, but in that case we're creating what ifs. What if these people correctly understood the concept of life and death? Then what choices would they make?
How about what if lobsters understood too?
Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
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.
A lobster can prove the desire to eat detritus by changing normal behavior through learning to eat detritus more efficiently.

A mindless fixed action pattern can only do simple things like move toward or away from something. Think those monsters in video games that are always getting stuck. They're moving toward your player avatar but they are doing so mindlessly. If they were to learn how to navigate a new obstacle to reach you, we could say they're actually trying to get you and thus *want* to do that. Such behavior would indicate a more sophisticated synthetic intelligence under the hood rather than a fixed action pattern style script.
Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
Do you think that scallops want to swim?
I don't know. You'd have to set up a test of some kind.
Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
And even if lobsters do desire to eat detritus, it is only to satisfy their hunger.
Efilists say the same thing about human desires. Even if you want sex it's just to satisfy lust. Even if you want companionship it's just to avoid lonliness. Even if you want entertainment it's just to avoid boredom.

What's the problem with this unfalsifiable claim? It can be said about any creature as an ad hoc explanation of behavior that's forced to fit that pessimistic assumption.
Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
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.
Then why should wanting to drink beer and watch Sunday football grant the average redneck a right to life?
Why should wanting to become president grant an ambitious politician a right to life?
Why should wanting anything grant anybody a right to life?

Prophiscient wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:41 pm
I don't think that the desire to feel physical pleasure would necessarily mean that an animal has an interest in continuing to live.
I thought you already agreed that wasn't relevant?
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
But I agree with you that living isn't good in itself. Living is instrumentally good, because it allows us to live happy lives.
You're after some abstract quality you're defining as happiness, but it seems like you're not basing it on anything.
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
I haven't seen sufficient evidence to warrant believing that lobsters have meaningful inner-lives such that it'd be wrong to kill them.
What does that even mean, and why do you believe we have that kind of evidence for humans?
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
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.
What evidence, what reasoning?
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
The standard I use is whether or not I think a being can lead a happy life.
That doesn't seem to be evidence or reasoning. That seems subjective, and it would be just as easy for a pessimist to dismiss the value of humans on the same grounds.
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
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.
Similar is a relative term. There are differences between humans you could use to say the same you're saying of lobsters. MEN have similar brain structures... but women... etc.
There's variability by sex, by families, and certain genes. You can always cherry pick some difference to give an excuse to devalue others, but is it a valid justification? Usually not.

Regardless, we KNOW many people suffer from depression, and some of it as far as we know currently incurable. I'm not sure what you think "capable" and "incapable" mean.
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:29 pm
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.
What behaviors? Because that's the only evidence that could be relevant here if those behaviors indicate something special going on under the hood.
Learning? Forming a mental map of the environment? Remembering things over time? Socialization, pair bonding?

What exactly do you think lobsters are fundamentally lacking that humans have which causes them to have no value at all?
Less value is plausible, relative in some way (maybe even exponentially) to the differences in size of the brain, neuron count, etc. but how do you come to absolutely no value whatsoever?

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