"indirect rights" Deontology & Consequentialism

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carnap
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"indirect rights" Deontology & Consequentialism

Post by carnap » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:50 am

Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
It is called Argument from Relevance. To morally regard an individual means to take its interests (desires) into consideration. When making moral decisions, rational people should only take into account relevant factors. Consequentialists regard those who can be benefited or harmed, and when making decisions attempt to increase well-being and reduce suffering.
This is an assertion, not an argument. So where is your argument sentience is not only morally relevant....but the only relevant factor.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
I've argued consistently why sentience is the only morally relevant factor (see above ↑). It is the only characteristic that has weight on the ability to experience suffering or wellbeing. 

I don't see any argument, could you please clearly state your argument by identifying the premises and conclusion? And, no, sentience isn't the only characteristic that is relevant to the experience of suffering. For example the ability for self-awareness has clear implications in terms of how an entity would suffer. Also the ability for sentience doesn't necessitate the ability for suffering, sentience just means that an entity has some sort of inner experience.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
I’m trying to drive home the point the they are all irrelevant. People do not ascribe traits like race or class to moral consideration because it is not relevant to one's ability to be harmed. Rather than refuting me, you continue feigning ignorance. So at this point it's safe to assume you don't have a valid counter-argument.
Valid counter-argument to what precisely? I've never suggested that race is morally relevant so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
All sentient beings have interests (such as the desire to be free of harm) and overriding that individual's interests with no proper justification is objectively bad. Consequentialists care about reducing unnecessary harm (harm that isn't morally justified).
Consequentialism, in general, isn't about reducing "unnecessary harm"....what you're referring to is a very specific moral theory. And before you can meaningfully talk about the "interests" of non-human entities, you need to first define what the term means outside of the human context.

What reason is there to believe that "all sentient beings" have a desire to be free of harm? That would require abstract thoughts and very few animals seem to have the capacity for abstract thinking.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
No, not all living organisms can be harmed in a moral sense, because harm is a subjective experience (each individual perceives negative stimuli differently).
What does it mean to "harm in a moral sense"? The definition of "harm" isn't moralistic.

Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
Is there evidence that plants respond to operant conditioning? Operant conditioning controls for behaviors that are not present in nature, and the individual learns to associate various stimuli with different cognitive experiences (like well-being and harm).
Yes there is but the ability for operant condition says nothing about intention. Learning doesn't require consciousness at all.

[link]http://theconversation.com/pavlovs-plan ... ence-69794[/link]
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by carnap » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm
Of course it's cultural relativism. It's about the opinions of people, not derived facts of moral necessity.
Indirect rights has nothing to do with the opinions of people but instead the rights people have. I provided a link earlier in the conversation to an article about indirect rights and how they fit into the discussion of animal ethics and rights.

You're accusing me of discussing cultural relativism because you seem to misunderstand the context and scope of theories of indirect rights.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm
Within a consequentialist framework, no. Within a deontological framework, yes it does: the only thing that matters is direct rights violations, though the heavens may fall.
You can't appeal to consequences within a deontological system.
This is your assertion, an assertion you'd need to argue for. As I pointed out earlier, indirect rights is one theory as to why some non-rights holders would have some protections. There are other theories as well. You'd need to argue that all these theories are somehow incompatible with theories of rights. Good luck.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm
No, they have protection on the basis of being property of the rights holders IF and ONLY IF the rights holders want them to have those protections.
In some cases yes, but children aren't seen as the property of parents but instead as moral patients of both parents and society as a whole. Again you'd need to argue that a theory of rights some how excludes the possibility of moral patients.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm
It's just how deontology works
Its not, its how your straw-man works. There isn't any moral philosopher that advocate a theory as you're suggesting.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm
While most humans probably *can* reason morally if taught to, most humans clearly do not bother or think about it.
So do those humans who have not and do not think about it lack moral consideration?
Humans very clearly demonstrate moral reasoning, but perhaps you only consider someone to reason morally if they hold views similar to yourself?

And the ability for moral reasoning is by no means arbitrary, its a critical distinction that is the basis of our legal system. We hold people culpable of crimes only when they are moral agents, that is, can understand and reason about what is wrong and right.

After all, if people lack moral reasoning why would you object to them eating meat? They are just doing the same thing any other omnivorous or carnivorous species does.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by carnap » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:41 am

esquizofrenico wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:13 am
The only other possible consideration you can have about something if it doesn't have rights is with respect its relationship with other beings that have rights.
This is the point of theories of indirect rights.
esquizofrenico wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:13 am
All moral obligations can be reformulated in terms of someone's right. So I think that at the very least you would have to accept that rules about mentally ill people or animals are because aesthetic or utilitarian reasons, if they have not direct rights. You could say: People should not torture animals/mental ill people because some people do not enjoy watching animals being tortured, or because it is generally bad for society when those things occur. But those kind of rules fail to give solid moral obligations on a personal level, if I personally do not get affected when I torture mentally ill people and I do it in the privacy of my home, I should not care about either of those arguments.
Its not about what you care about but rather moral agents as a whole. If torturing animals leads to socially undesirable outcomes you can give an argument that those actions are wrong for anybody to do. Not because the animal as rights but instead due to how the actions impact the society of rights-holders.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by esquizofrenico » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:24 am

No, that doesn't follow. The fact that torturing animals in general lead to bad social outcomes does not imply that if I do it it is morally wrong. It follows that I will have to take care that my specific case does not imply a bad social outcome. The easiest way to see this is slaughterhouses. While most people would run away from any neighbour that does to his dog what it is everyday done in slaughterhouses, they have no problem to live near a slaughterhouse worker. This is completely consistent and is because they believe than in that specific situation those actions do not have a bad social outcome.

The perfect example with all this topic is incest. Although incest generally leads to power relations and genetic problems, it is easy to see that if a brother and a sister separated when babies have sex when adults, they are doing absolutely nothing wrong. They do not need to worry to the general rule that prohibits incest, because it is there to prevent some scenarios that are extremely common in incestuous relationships, but not there in their case.

The same apply to killing mentally ill people. Even if it is true that generally speaking this will lead to bad social outcomes, if I take measures for not being the case, those rules do not apply to me.

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Post by carnap » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:47 pm

esquizofrenico wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:24 am
No, that doesn't follow. The fact that torturing animals in general lead to bad social outcomes does not imply that if I do it it is morally wrong. It follows that I will have to take care that my specific case does not imply a bad social outcome.
Doesn't follow from what? I'm discussing deontic theories of ethics and these theories have a variety of ways with dealing with the issue of moral patients. What you're suggesting here is actually consequentialist thinking and is the antithesis of deontic theories. In deontic theories the morality of an action isn't defined in relation to the outcome of the action but instead by some moral rule. For example your situation is explicitly excluded from Kant's theory, for Kant an action is only moral if it can become a universal law.

While Kant didn't think animals were moral patients and therefore we had no moral duties to them he didn't believe we should torture or abuse animals. But others have built similar theories that have included at least some animals as moral patients, for example, Tom Regan. For Regan being a moral patient doesn't hinge on the ability to reason but instead hinge on being a "subject of a life".

In any case, there isn't any major moral philosopher that has suggested that we should treat animals however we wish so the claim that any deontic theory requires this position requires a really bold analysis/argument.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by esquizofrenico » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 pm

I think it is too simplistic to say that in deontic theories the morality of an action isn't determined by its outcome. That would be true in a universe of the ideas world, in which you: rape a woman, lie to a friend, whistle, with no other effect after that. But in the real world your actions can have non intended consequences that you should obviously take into account. There are situations in which whistling is not bad, like while walking down the street, and others in which it is, like if you are hiding from a gunman with other people in a basement. In the second situation, even if your intention is "whistling" rather than "telling a gunman where these people are", even the strongest deontologist would agree that you are still committing a moral evil, because the second would be an obvious outcome, that overrides your right to whistle. And frankly, if there is anyone that doesn't think that way (I think probably Kant would say so, since in a letter to another philosopher he said you should not lie to a murderer that asks you where is the person he's chasing), his moral theory is useless and nobody should pay attention to it before some corrections are applied.

Deontologically, the issue is rather simple. Either you say an act is bad in itself or it isn't. If you say it isn't, by definition the best thing you can say it's that it is conditionally bad, because in some situations it implies collateral damages that are bad by themselves. So, as I was saying, deontologically if you do not give rights to animals or mentally ill people you will not be able to say that killing them is bad, but rather conditionally bad. I think every time we talk I get to defend tautologies: you cannot say something is bad in itself if you don't say it's bad in itself.

Of course there aren't any philosophers that think we should treat animals however we wish (I suppose with this you mean arbitrarily), but that is because no philosopher thinks we can treat anything arbitrarily. This follows from:
1) There exists morally valuable beings
2) Those beings have needs
3) Satisfying those needs require resources
4) There are not unlimited resources in our universe
From these four premises it follows that we cannot treat anything that can be considered a resource arbitrarily. The question is not if there are philosophers that think we can treat animals however we like, that's a non issue, but rather if there are philosophers that think that our relationship with an animal should be similar to that with a rock. And there are certainly many philosophers that think this way. They think you can say "You should feed an animal", but that the meaning of that phrase is similar to "You should not leave a HCl solution out in the open". Descartes would be for example someone that thought this way, and I recently read a paper by a Christian moral philosopher that took this position, criticizing the notion of "animal cruelty" and defending industrial farming techniques, saying that the only consideration we should have for animals are those of "welfare", understood as those things that help the animal serve our interests the best (growing and getting to our plate).

So there are certainly many philosophers that think you can torture an animal morally (at least conditionally), it is the obvious consequence of not holding that caring for animal interests is a moral duty. I think that this is independent of whether you are a pragmatist, relativist, moral absolutist or whatever. it's just the identity principle. A cannot be not A. If you hold that animals don't have rights, no inconditional moral duty can be born out of our relationship with them. If all moral patients disappeared, animals would still exist and obviously no moral duties would exist any more, so all actions involving animals would be moral. That proofs that one can find a non-contradictory situation in which all actions to animals are moral and therefore anything we do to them can be at best conditionally bad. Therefore if I find a situation in which my action to animals do not imply a harm to other moral patients, no matter what I do, it is moral.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:43 am

carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:50 am
Lay Vegan wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:34 pm
Is there evidence that plants respond to operant conditioning? Operant conditioning controls for behaviors that are not present in nature, and the individual learns to associate various stimuli with different cognitive experiences (like well-being and harm).
Yes there is
That's a pretty extraordinary claim. That's on the level of Flat-Earthism.
Are you prepared to cite some sources for that?

Because the link you gave is not: that's sensitization and a very poor study on classical conditioning (read the study itself and the discussion on the study here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2782&start=10#p28688 ).
None of that is evidence of operant conditioning.

Classical conditioning doesn't necessarily require sentience: perhaps that's your confusion here.
Please be mindful of the difference and take care not to make that claim again without some evidence.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:50 am
but the ability for operant condition says nothing about intention. Learning doesn't require consciousness at all.
I think Lay Vegan already explained this well enough.
In order to learn to do something that instinct wouldn't have hard wired you for, that clearly demonstrates intention to do that thing and a basic level of consciousness of what you're doing. This is probably the most meaningful definition of these terms.

If you disagree, then you need to define intention and consciousness so it can be discussed in more depth.

Arguing about terms you don't want to define clearly isn't that useful.

This is a debate forum where non-vegans are welcome to argue against vegan positions in part because there's some reason to believe vegans aren't well motivated to challenge their own arguments (arguably, as you put it, devils advocates are nearly useless). It's great to have argument to fine-tune and improve our approaches. But unfounded assertions about plants engaging in operant conditioning or muddying definitions isn't going to get very far. Please try to understand and challenge what Lay Vegan is actually saying. If you want to argue for moral considerations of plants you're not going to be able to be lazy about it like this (mixing up sensitization/unlikely cases of classical conditioning with operant conditioning which Lay Vegan was explicit about).

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am

carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
Indirect rights has nothing to do with the opinions of people but instead the rights people have.
Please substantiate their basis in deontology.

Kant tried to do that with the categorical imperative for rights holders. You can just make an arbitrary assertion about various categories of beings and their rights, but that's just morality by fiat, not the objective basis the original poster of the previous thread was looking for.

Since this seems to have gone entirely off topic, I've split the thread. So you can feel free to discuss arbitrary system like that... but I have a feeling that you don't have much of an argument for them.

I'm a little familiar with the train wreck of ad hoc hypotheses that is modern deontology.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
You'd need to argue that all these theories are somehow incompatible with theories of rights. Good luck.
Theories of rights are incompatible with themselves. @esquizofrenico is almost getting at that in his posts.
Deontology is a lost cause, so as I said you might be able to argue these on the basis that a broken system doesn't need to be consistent.

Not something I'm that interested in unless you think you have some kind of objective argument along the lines Kant was trying for.

carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
but children aren't seen as the property of parents but instead as moral patients of both parents and society as a whole. Again you'd need to argue that a theory of rights some how excludes the possibility of moral patients.
When you're looking for an objective basis (rather than an arbitrary one which allows such assertions in any number unless they contradict each other) then any rules applied need to be substantiated.

That's what the poster's friend from the other thread would have wanted, and that's what I was asking for.

If you're just saying it's an arbitrary system with arbitrary rules, but which may be internally consistent once you accept its convoluted and unfounded axioms, then I would need to show it was inconsistent.

Just the fact that it's arbitrary pretty much makes me lose interest in it, though. "Ask Yourself" might like it, though: he's all about these arbitrary systems that can be internally consistent but that are justified only on the basis of fiat. He's the one making claims that they contradict themselves if they're not vegan: I don't claim that.

I'm a moral objectivist, I'm not really interested in the myriad potential arbitrary systems that may or may not be internally consistent but have no means of substantiating themselves as objective.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
There isn't any moral philosopher that advocate a theory as you're suggesting.
Because those with good sense have abandoned deontology a long time ago. Those sticking around and trying to fix it are piling on ad hoc rules as you explained as band-aids, but failing to do what Kant attempted (most not even trying, it's like they don't care anymore).
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
Humans very clearly demonstrate moral reasoning, but perhaps you only consider someone to reason morally if they hold views similar to yourself?
Seems like what you're doing with respect to non-humans.

You can set any arbitrary cutoff point you want. My point is that where you draw that line is arbitrary, and it's not useful to substantiate an objective system.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
And the ability for moral reasoning is by no means arbitrary, its a critical distinction that is the basis of our legal system.
The legal system is largely consequentialist (and it becoming more so over time). When you're talking social contract that's different; understanding specific laws and consequences is relevant to culpability (and their application as deterrents for consequentialists). But again, this is socially relative (rules of society can be more or less complex), and it excludes children and other marginal people who don't fit the bill.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
We hold people culpable of crimes only when they are moral agents, that is, can understand and reason about what is wrong and right.
Now it seems like you're just defining morality relative to social norms. Like I said, cultural relativism.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
After all, if people lack moral reasoning why would you object to them eating meat?
People not thinking about it and not having that information arguably makes them less culpable (just as not having the ability), but it's still harmful.
If it can change, we should motivate that change.

Culpability is very different from what we should or shouldn't do.

If you're interested in the topic of culpability we can discuss it more, but I don't think you'd like my explanations. As a consequentialist I care about what's useful; I don't believe in some magical form of supernatural "free will". Blaming people for things when that blame is not productive doesn't make sense.
carnap wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:29 am
They are just doing the same thing any other omnivorous or carnivorous species does.
Mmhmm, but they usually don't have to do it. They can learn not to, and have more access to other options.

There are people that vegans shouldn't be spending precious activism time on, because they are less able to change due to circumstance.
wiki/index.php/Native_Peoples

The issue with advocating veganism to wild animals is much more challenging. Dogs and cats can be socialized with typically prey animals and taught not to hunt and kill them, particularly provided they have other food, but it's much more challenging than to address humans.
Teaching a wild animal to come to some food repository and not hunt other animals would be a huge waste of resources compared to what could be done instead.

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Post by carnap » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:29 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:43 am
That's a pretty extraordinary claim. That's on the level of Flat-Earthism.
Are you prepared to cite some sources for that?
I already did, the article I cited refers to research that shows evidence of conditioning in plants. Also your attempt to associate this hypothesis with "flat-earthism" is fallacious. Thankfully science isn't dogmatic and any hypothesis can be entertained.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:43 am
In order to learn to do something that instinct wouldn't have hard wired you for, that clearly demonstrates intention to do that thing and a basic level of consciousness of what you're doing.
Associative learning only requires that two or more variables can become associated with each other and this doesn't require intention or consciousness. You can readily model associative learning in robots/computers systems that clearly have no intentions. Your position here would force you to accept that even basic robots have "basic level of consciousness".

Many models of Operant condition in robots, for example:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110879/

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:43 am
If you want to argue for moral considerations of plants....
I've never suggested such a thing....yet another one of your misinterpretations. If you're unclear about what someone is discussing perhaps you should ask a question about their point?
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

carnap
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Post by carnap » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:25 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
Please substantiate their basis in deontology.
I already did, when I first mentioned indirect rights I provided a link that gave further details. Here it is again: https://www.iep.utm.edu/anim-eth/
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
When you're looking for an objective basis (rather than an arbitrary one which allows such assertions in any number unless they contradict each other) then any rules applied need to be substantiated.
Indirect rights are an "objective basis", there is nothing subjective about them. To say it again, I brought up indirect-rights because they have been a key way of justifying protections for animals in deontic theories. But you seem to have an issue with people discussing deontological theories because apparently you're not fond of them.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
Because those with good sense have abandoned deontology a long time ago.
This is a fine example of cognitive bias, when you only think people that hold similar views as yourself are the ones with "good sense" you never have have a reason to think about and truly understand other ideas. This is why discussing ideas, rather than deriding them and asserting your opinion, is always a good idea.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
Seems like what you're doing with respect to non-humans.
How so? I haven't even stated a position on animal ethics.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
The legal system is largely consequentialist (and it becoming more so over time). When you're talking social contract that's different; understanding specific laws and consequences is relevant to culpability (and their application as deterrents for consequentialists).
Actually not at all, western legal systems are founded on rights. In the case of the US, reading the bill of rights makes it pretty clear.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
Now it seems like you're just defining morality relative to social norms. Like I said, cultural relativism.
Except I wasn't giving a definition and didn't say anything about social norms?

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
People not thinking about it and not having that information arguably makes them less culpable (just as not having the ability), but it's still harmful.
If it can change, we should motivate that change.
Its also harmful when a lion attacks an animal and you've just got done suggesting that you can train animals to follow moral rules and that most people don't reason morally, so then most people should be treated just as other animals and vice verse. Therefore if one should "motivate change" in other people, then one should also motivate change in non-human omnivores and carnivores?

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am
Dogs and cats can be socialized with typically prey animals and taught not to hunt and kill them, particularly provided they have other food, but it's much more challenging than to address humans.
How well you can train a dog (or cat) to avoid prey animals would hinge greatly on its breed/temperament. But perhaps why its more challenging is because humans, unlike dogs, can alter their behavior based on moral reasoning? That is, they have the ability for true moral reasoning...
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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