Does Going Vegan Save Lives?

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Zane
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Re: Does Going Vegan Save Lives?

Post by Zane » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:42 pm

Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:14 pm
This is an obvious straw-man, and perhaps at the root of your misunderstandings.

The ethics of our actions are not based on sheer probability but also the size and scale of the outcome. Having an extremely small chance at making a neutral or moderate effect could be arguably discounted, especially if there are risks/benefits that offset the potential outcome.
This is a significant misrepresentation. As I remarked in the paragraph immediately before the offending example, a low probability action can be deemed immoral if it led to sufficiently dire consequences (because the morality of an action is determined by a combination of the chances and the severity of the consequences). The automobile was merely to illustrate a case free from moral sanctimony.

The core argument is that there seems to be an arbitrariness to the value threshold. So, for example, a person might claim that animals are not worthy of rights because they lack the requisite mental faculties. Summoning the argument from marginal cases, a vegan casually points out that adult primates compare favorably against human infants on almost any metric, so, by that logic, should chimpanzees have rights? Reeling, the non-vegan concedes that chimpanzees should have rights (this is a rather easy concession to make because he has no interest in dining on primates). Going further, maybe he even grants rights to all animals with the capabilities of at least a human infant. But why should a human infant be the moral standard? The books are cooked.

If our primary motivation for going vegan is that we personally, directly contribute to saving all of these lives, I wonder if you've taken out your green visor and performed the same calculations on freeganism.

-------------------------------------------
Yet another Gish Gallop.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:44 am
That was obvious, my point is that those circumstances aren't very realistic and don't apply to our reality.
Holy smokes, I was responding to a post that imagined dozens of people on the planet and asked for a "magic" number.
I fully realize and appreciate that this may be how some of the #NameTheTrait advocates see us, given our opposition to that argument ( http://philosophicalvegan.com/wiki/inde ... meTheTrait ), but the distinction is that #NTT was based on demonstrably flawed logic -- something we demonstrated.
Yet you still beclowned yourself with a meta (non)argument.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Depositing a Drop of Poison
You can't make analogies to a fictitious universe that's nothing like our own and pretend those hold or explain anything in ours.
OUR universe is probabilistic, and that's what matters. Thought experiments that presume to remove that probabilistic effect, particularly when that's the whole matter of contention we're discussing, have no bearing on this conversation.
You're missing the forest for a mirage you've constructed. The probabilistic effect still applies to the poison because if enough people engage in the same behavior it can lead to illness and/or death. You've just been too strident and pig-headed to get past your own snout. One of the concessions of the threshold argument is that one's behavior (most of the time) makes no difference. The other half of the argument is that, statistically, it will eventually make a difference. (Will a coin with an added .000000000000000000000000001% chance of landing on heads make a difference? Given enough trials (law of large numbers), it will almost certainly make a difference.)

Your self-important pretensions about fighting for "reality" because there's some remote-never-going-to-happen chance that person will die from the poison misses the point entirely. Hell, my mere presence at a community well could expose others to danger because I could have an illness (and not be aware of it). I could accidentally knock somebody in. We can imagine any number of scenarios, but such possibilities are generally considered morally negligible.

One of the "best" arguments against veganism:
"it takes more time to find vegan options and I'm working in a high impact charity where my every minute saves human lives"
Their every minute. How do they even find the time to say they can't be vegan?
Wow, my mistake for giving you the benefit of the doubt in assuming you weren't a completely insane dogmatist.

You might have thought it was obvious that you were just making fun of those silly Round-Earthers by pretending to agree with them despite being a Flat-Earther yourself. It was not.

What you don't understand is that to any SANE or remotely competent person it's overwhelmingly obvious that there are cases where veganism isn't the only way to be a good person, and that's a canonical example common among EA vegans.
I made the mistake of giving you the benefit of the doubt there, assuming you were reasonable enough to agree with just that.

Don't worry, I won't make that mistake again. I will assume you're a complete moron from here on out, and if you ever say something that sounds sensible I'll assume you're being sarcastic.
Careful, you have some spittle on your chin. Also, this will be my last reply to you (for awhile). And of course veganism isn't the only way for someone to be a good person. Your view of me is such a gross and ridiculous caricature.
Zane wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:05 pm
Can we say a specific person died of lung cancer because he had a life-long smoking habit? No, not necessarily. Can a relatively low probability action be immoral if it led to devastating consequences? Sure. This is elementary.
This seems to be the root of your confusion: it doesn't matter what actually ended up happening. The action in itself is immoral because of the probability. You don't get off by being lucky and not having bad outcomes.
I'm not at all sure how you could come up with this kind of inference based on what was written, especially after I've said -- probably more than once -- that we're morally responsible for the foreseeable consequences of our actions.
It's hard to imagine a view more off-putting or harmful to veganism than your saying it's a bad call for somebody to compromise and eat animal products sometimes because it makes it possible to participate efficiently in a highly effective charity in an undeveloped country -- a charity that saves humans suffering and death. You're giving the literal Vegan Nazis a run for their money in undermining the moral integrity of veganism by mere association.
Back to the sanctimony, and the example has changed from lacking a spare minute to being transported to the less developed world, presumably being forced by natives to celebrate some rare occasion (since meat and diary are not exactly commonplace). Why stop at Vegan Nazis? Let's just call it now: Worse than Illinois Nazis.

Scavenging
No, it's time inefficient when even one person does for that person, as well as for those who rely on that person or his or her contributions to society. There's opportunity cost.

You keep ignoring the cost:benefit analysis here. That's what defines what we should do.
Scavenging can certainly be cost-prohibitive for some people -- most people, even -- but it's incorrect to suggest it's inefficient for everyone. In retrospect, I should have been scavenging rather than replying to this post. It's also dishonest to say I'm ignoring cost-benefit analysis. It's entirely possible for someone to spend their "every minute" laboring at the top of the corporate hierarchy, and then donating a significant part of the paycheck to a charitable cause.

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Lay Vegan
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Post by Lay Vegan » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:16 pm

You don’t understand consequentialism or ethics. You don’t understand a lot of things here.
Zane wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:42 pm
This is a significant misrepresentation. As I remarked in the paragraph immediately before the offending example, a low probability action can be deemed immoral if it led to sufficiently dire consequences (because the morality of an action is determined by a combination of the chances and the severity of the consequences).
The benefits to eating dinner for the evening would need to be weighed against the potential risk of wrecking your car in inclement conditions. Why can’t you wrap your head around the concept of cost/benefit analysis? brimstoneSalad has explained this to you as well as a university professor could.
Zane wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:42 pm
If our primary motivation for going vegan is that we personally, directly contribute to saving all of these lives, I wonder if you've taken out your green visor and performed the same calculations on freeganism.


Since future consequences of our actions are uncertain, consequentialists should make decisions on probability of good outcome. Going vegan does indeed have a small chance of making a difference down the demand chain (the chance is as small as the effect is massive), so it would be unlikely for me to choose not to be a part of a movement with statically good outcomes. That is, unless there are potential benefits of eating animals that outweighs the small risk of doing harm. Again, cost/benefit analysis.

On other heuristics, see here:
brimstoneSalad wrote:Veganism isn't the end all be all answer to ethics, it one part of the equation dealing with certain explicit animal foods.
Minimalism, zero-waste, and generally saving resources are all important things to strive for.

That said, veganism is among the lowest hanging fruits; an easy change with a much larger impact than we'd expect for many other changes. More bang for the buck.
Your behavior and arrogance is reminiscent of a persistent anti-vegan troll who frequented this forum not long ago. Overall, I find it bizarre that you, a vegan, would be so persistent as to refute an argument FOR veganism that has been shown to be mathematically sound AND which another forum member has shown to be persuasive.

I don’t think any rational argument or anecdotal evidence will convince you. Would you please spare me (and the entire forum) your dogma and answer brimstone’s simulation question?

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