Seven Deadly Sins of Bad Vegan Activism

Technical problems, questions, comments, and suggestions for the forum and wiki.

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EquALLity
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Re: Seven Deadly Sins of Bad Vegan Activism

Post by EquALLity » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:24 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:48 am
Welcome back from the dead!

Can you sign up to the Wiki? Somebody will authorize you to edit.
EquALLity wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:57 pm
I think it's good. Maybe you could give some examples for pro-vegan pseudoscience,
Good idea!

EquALLity wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:57 pm
"Milk has a ton of puss and blood."
"Eggs are chicken periods."
I'd call those more gross-out arguments, since they're kind of subjective and mainly made to be disgusting. What's a ton? Etc. and shouldn't matter.
EquALLity wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:57 pm
Also, I have noticed that many vegans will immediately believe something that supports veganism without fact-checking it. Maybe you could say something about that too, since it's a big cause of why there is so much pseudoscience in the vegan community.
Yes, we see the same in religious circles with respect to Einstein quotes, etc.
EquALLity wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:57 pm
P.S. A general question, what is the POV of the wiki? Sometimes it is in first person, but sometimes it isn't. I think it should be consistent.
First person stuff is probably a mistake.
If you see it, feel free to fix that.
Thanks, but unfortunately I don't really have time right now to be an editor of the wiki, given school etc.. :/ I just stumbled on this topic, checked out that page, and thought of an improvement to that section based on the large amount of pseudoscience I've noticed vegans propagate. Good luck though, I think it's a good idea to try to improve vegan activism.
"I am not a Marxist." -Karl Marx

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:56 pm

Thanks. I've updated the article.
It may be useful to separate the description of each item from examples, but that can be done later.

Margaret Hayek
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Post by Margaret Hayek » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi Brimstone Salad,

I'm very sorry for the very long delay in response.

Let me just start fresh, with some questions to you:

(1) I don't see a sharp distinction between 'reason' and 'intuition', at least if 'intuition' can include the uninferred ethical seemings that we have after critical reflection, not just the unexamined ones that we have at the outset of ethical inquiry. In basic ethics (i.e. trying to figure out what is most fundamentally right / wrong; good / bad; a reason to act / not a reason to act) 'reason' just is the attempt to see what uninferred ethical seemings of all levels of generality - i.e. 'intuitions' in my sense - seem most clearly to be true after maximal critical reflection upon them, how they can fit together, their entailments of all varieties, what rival sets of ideas there might be and how plausible they are after maximal critical reflection, etc.. I take it that you see 'reason' as something different, and that you think that it can do something else in basic ethics. Can you thus tell me what you mean by 'reason', how you think it works in basic ethics, and how you take it to be independent from and not operating on / clarifying / uncovering intuitions and their contents in the service of producing more reflectively informed intuitions?

(2) I don't see how explaining the problems for rival ethical theories like deontology vs. consequentialism is in any way not just a matter of trying to show that one of the views doesn't comport with our strongest intuitions after maximal critical reflection. I have referred you to the arguments I know of and how they all work in the manner I have describe. Can you tell me how you think one can argue e.g. against deontology in a different way, and / or refer me to arguments that you think do that?

I think will be most helpful to centre on methodology rather than the metaphysics and philosophy of language of ethical facts and talk. I do think that I explained clearly what is going on with the non-naturalism of people like Sidgwick & Singer in terms of their thinking that ethically relevant properties are naturalistic but that the facts that these properties are ethically relevant are not naturalistic facts. Also when it comes to various metaethical views you have claimed very forcefully and with a lot of strong language that you think that they are awful, but it seems to me that you have not provided any arguments for these claims, you have not referred me to any arguments in support of these claims, and, quite frankly, you have not shown any understanding of these views or issues. I suspect that it is not fruitful for me or anyone else to try to engage with you about these matters at this point. I do, however, think that methodology is very important, and I would very much like to learn from you about what you take the alternatives here to be.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:03 am

Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
(1) I don't see a sharp distinction between 'reason' and 'intuition', at least if 'intuition' can include the uninferred ethical seemings that we have after critical reflection, not just the unexamined ones that we have at the outset of ethical inquiry.
What's critical reflection?
That seems at least potentially loaded with biases.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
In basic ethics (i.e. trying to figure out what is most fundamentally right / wrong; good / bad; a reason to act / not a reason to act) 'reason' just is the attempt to see what uninferred ethical seemings of all levels of generality - i.e. 'intuitions' in my sense - seem most clearly to be true after maximal critical reflection upon them,
That doesn't seem like a useful definition.
Theists receive the same revelations of gnosis after critical reflection.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
how they can fit together, their entailments of all varieties, what rival sets of ideas there might be
This is useful, and I'd call that reason. Using the process of elimination, establishing where there are limits due to contradiction, and what we can not eliminate.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
and how plausible they are after maximal critical reflection, etc..
"Plausibility" is where you lost me.

Notions have three possible states: Disproved, not disproved, and proved by disproving all known alternatives (at least proved to a logical moral certainty).

I don't really respect a spectrum of plausible moral seemings which are based on critical reflection in the general sense you're talking about, because if it doesn't come with some kind of proof that just seems like an expression of personal bias.

Questions of plausibility end at semantic teleology; we're using moral claims in certain ways, and at least in the context of those conversations and the sense of "morality" we mean by that, that limits the scope of what it could be and provides for establishing that some answers are contradictory.


Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
(2) I don't see how explaining the problems for rival ethical theories like deontology vs. consequentialism is in any way not just a matter of trying to show that one of the views doesn't comport with our strongest intuitions after maximal critical reflection. I have referred you to the arguments I know of and how they all work in the manner I have describe. Can you tell me how you think one can argue e.g. against deontology in a different way, and / or refer me to arguments that you think do that?
When we make quick and simple arguments against deontology, like it claiming lying is always wrong even to a murderer asking you the location of his victim, we're absolutely appealing to intuition. But that's not the only way to address deontology, it's just an effective shortcut to talk people out of it.
Doing so objectively means deconstructing it and showing that it doesn't even do what it claims to do; it contradicts itself.

An example being stealing vs. somebody without a notion of property. Every categorical imperative is ultimately subjective, and the whole thing falls apart.
The only one that would be absolute is reducing it to consequences; we can not will that our interests be violated by the consequences of somebody's actions, so acting in a way the the consequences violate interests is wrong.

Of course there we're getting down to the raw mechanics of the mind... and we're well clear of deontology as soon as we bring consequences into it.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
I think will be most helpful to centre on methodology rather than the metaphysics and philosophy of language of ethical facts and talk.
There are also questions of the mind, I suppose, but those things are the only things we can draw from. Beyond that the only appropriate methodology is deductive.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
I do think that I explained clearly what is going on with the non-naturalism of people like Sidgwick & Singer in terms of their thinking that ethically relevant properties are naturalistic but that the facts that these properties are ethically relevant are not naturalistic facts.
This is not coherent to me. Catholics explain that god is three distinct individual entities and one inseparable whole of a single substance. Never made sense either.

As to the above, the same can be claimed about sin.
"Sinful properties are naturalistic but that the facts that these properties are sinful are not naturalistic facts."

It's easy enough to say, but the idea that it means anything coherent doesn't seem to be possible to substantiate.

These are effectively religious claims.

I recognize two kinds of facts: Empirical and Logical (like mathematics or deductive logic). Anything beyond that is equally unsubstantiated woo whether it's coming from Singer, Deepak Chopra, or the Pope.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
Also when it comes to various metaethical views you have claimed very forcefully and with a lot of strong language that you think that they are awful,
Those intuitive claims which are tantamount to religious faith? Sure.

I'm happy to be shown some argument to the contrary.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
but it seems to me that you have not provided any arguments for these claims,
It's not possible because there's no argument FOR them, being matters of faith/intuition, and nor should I have to when speaking against intuition or religious faith.
If you have an argument which differentiates these claims from religious ones, then I'll have something to respond to with an argument.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
you have not referred me to any arguments in support of these claims,
I'm rejecting intuitionistic claims as comparable to faith; that's the extent of my argument unless you have some argument that shows they are different and somehow worthy of consideration when we ignore the revelations of any of thousands of religions.

This isn't something that needs a peer reviewed paper to say.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
and, quite frankly, you have not shown any understanding of these views or issues.
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Courtier%27s_Reply

I don't need to know the intricacies of Christian theodicy to categorically reject faith as a basis for knowledge, nor do I need to know the details of ANY of these intuitionistic systems to reject them on the grounds that they are faith-based.

I am VERY interested in the writings of philosophers like Kant, or even Ayn Rand ( :roll: ) who attempted to use reasoned arguments to ground their moral claims, and when I come across these sort of arguments I'm more than happy to engage them with the respect they deserve for attempting rational methodology.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
I suspect that it is not fruitful for me or anyone else to try to engage with you about these matters at this point.
If you had an argument, it would absolutely be fruitful. I'm VERY interested in argument.
I'd love to read a paper, if you have one, arguing how intuitionistic moral philosophy differs from religious faith.

I'm getting a hint of some implicit insult here I don't really like... :? Just calling me ignorant isn't helpful, particularly on a topic I don't feel is any more important to moral philosophy than memorizing the Bible, the Qur'an, or any other arbitrary scripture. The details of patently bunk systems are unimportant.
Margaret Hayek wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:43 pm
I do, however, think that methodology is very important, and I would very much like to learn from you about what you take the alternatives here to be.
Just to deconstruct every "possible" system until we end up with one left, or a handful left which can be shown to have general agreement on certain "black and white" moral questions. If we can't narrow it down to one, that's fine, as long as we can say something about morality.

The individual-based approach is interesting, but it fails to be coherent on metaphysical grounds since there is no such thing as an individual in the way Roberts uses it; we can very easily arrive at contradictions if we leave that up to self determination. There are such things as interests, though.

The issue is culling, quite ruthlessly, all of the contenders, then we'll prove by process of elimination which moral claims are viable.

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