THE morality of eating chicken

Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,833
Korea
This comment reminded me that about two years ago my one relative had about 10 chickens decapitated by an unknown perpetrator. They live on an 8 acre farm and had let the chickens roam in the day and put them in the coop at night. They came out in the morning and found all the chickens decapitated. Some may have been missing, as I can't recall. They thought a hawk was the cause, although some speculated it may have been a raccoon or the proverbial fox. I am surprised something has not chased down my neighbor's chickens yet, as they are out in the open throughout the day. It is not uncommon to see several hawks circling in the meadow adjacent to our properties. There are some neighbors who let their dogs run free and plenty of outdoor cats, although I can't see the latter taking on a chicken.
My step-sister also raises some chickens in a free-range fashion to sell their eggs, and in her case, raccoons were evidently quite a scourge. I am not enough of an expert to know what the best policy in this regard is, but it would be highly ironic if state mandated animal welfare laws meant to improve the lives of chickens from a hedonic perspective ended up causing them to experience illness, injury, or death by predation at higher rates.
 
Likes: Rodger
Feb 2011
6,011
If you genuinely believe this -- if you genuinely believe that there is no moral truth which can be discovered, but rather, that all morality is simply "made up" -- then why should anyone take your arguments regarding it seriously? If morality is simply "an abstract concept made up by humans," then an adequate response to any suggestion that eating chickens is immoral is, "No, it's not." Indeed, if anything, the blunt response holds more force, as it contains no arguments which can be shown to be internally inconsistent, and no details which can be attacked. It is unassailable, and to deny its unassailability is to deny that morality is really the simply "made-up" thing which you suggest it to be.
Art, Language, Chess rules, Law, Insurance, Monetary Value, and Sports rules are all abstract concepts which are made up. Are you saying I shouldn't partake in any of them? I said morality is an abstract concepts made up by man (or God if you're religious), I didn't say they aren't important.

What moral rule, then, do you hold, that justified animal factories? And you should prove it if you actually believe that morality can be scientifically proven. And by that, I mean your proof cannot rely on other unproven moral assumptions either. As long as I can ask "why" or "why not", then your statement contains an unproven moral assumption. If you cannot do this, then that means morality must stem from some basic premise that's not proven.

For example: Murder is bad. Why is murder bad? Because you're hurting someone. Why is hurting someone bad? Because the person don't want to be hurt. Why should the person get what he wants? Because it's his right. Why should it be his right? etc, etc...... It's going to go on and on unless you have SOME basic moral premise that's taken as a given.

Fox said:
Perhaps so, insofar as if nothing else certain "laws of thought" like non-contraction are in some sense assumptions, and at the very least those would be required, but not all assumptions are equal. "You and I agree regarding assumptions X, Y, and Z, and assumptions X, Y, and Z naturally lead to conclusion R," or, "You and I agree with the law of non-contradiction, and you've assumed both X and not X, so your position disproves itself," is very different than, "I take assumption X for granted, and accordingly, conclude assumption X."

If so, then in the same sense that, "There is no teapot floating around Pluto," is a more basic assumption than, "There is a teapot floating around Pluto," the more basic assumption is, "Pleasure and pain are not morally relevant," and your more specific assumption that they are relevant in at least some cases is the one that must be proven. How will you go about proving it? Or will you simply refuse to do so while still taking it as an assumption, despite the fact that said assumption is the conclusion you're attempting to defend in this thread? Or will you disavow the suggestion that the more specific assumption is the one which must be proven (which would be reasonable enough; we all misspeak sometimes)?
That is a false analogy. Whether there is a teapot floating around Pluto or not is a factual statement grounded in physics, not a moralistic statement. If there is a teapot floating around Pluto it's possible to prove it by science. It's a question of what is happening, not a question of what you should do to be good. You are the ones who stated that certain moral statements are unproven, which implies that there are moral statements that can be proven. I challenge you to scientifically prove any moral statement in that regard, which do not rely on some other unproven assumption.

And if you think "don't cause undue harm" should not be a basic moral premise, then perhaps you should say what should be a basic moral premise. Sure, I suppose if you think "don't cause undue harm" have no basis in morality, and any idea along the lines of "don't cause undue harm" have no basis in morality, then I suppose you could justify a lot of things. But that sort of morality would be unrecognizable to most people.

You say "Pleasure and pain are not morally relevant" (I'm pretty sure most would disagree with this). Instead of saying what morality is not, why don't you begin by saying what morality is. And if you demand proof for "don't cause undue harm", then surely there should be proof for "Pleasure and pain are not morally relevant" as well. And as I said, said proof cannot rely on unproven assumptions, otherwise you admit there must be SOME basic moral premise that's taken as a given.

Fox said:
Scrutiny of motives is potentially beneficial, yes, something with which I already implicitly agreed in my above post. Yet the first and best target of such scrutiny is oneself, as one has first-hand access to one's own motivations, and lacks first-hand access to the motivations of others. Care to give an honest accounting of your own motive behind arguing in a circular fashion in a thread regarding a topic which you suggest defies characterization in terms of truth and falsity on account of dealing in "made-up" notions?
Well if you can prove there's some Giant Golden Plaque in the universe existing from the Big Bang which says "Thou shall not do etc..." then I'm all ears. Plus, I said morality is an abstract concept that cannot be scientifically proven. That doesn't mean it's not important and should not be adhered to. Plenty of abstract concepts are important to everyday life.

My motive behind saying that morality is a "made up" notion which can't be scientifically proven, is because I see no way to scientifically prove moral standards of any sort. If you show me how you can scientifically prove it, then I'm all ears. And no, your statement about how there's a teapot floating around Pluto don't count. That's a factual statement on what physically exists or not, and have nothing to do with morality regarding what you should or should not do. Again, I said morality is an abstract cognitive concept which exists in the mind, I didn't say it's not important. It's very important, just like how if you want to play chess then you need chess rules, even though chess rules is a concept made up by man. Without chess rules you can't play chess.
 
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Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,833
Korea
Part I (The forum is making me split this post because it has over 10,000 characters.)

Art, Language, Chess rules, Law, Insurance, Monetary Value, and Sports rules are all abstract concepts which are made up. Are you saying I shouldn't partake in any of them?
I do not remember saying that you should not "partake" in morality. Rather, I asked you a question: "If you genuinely believe this -- if you genuinely believe that there is no moral truth which can be discovered, but rather, that all morality is simply "made up" -- then why should anyone take your arguments regarding it seriously?" After all, you living your life according to a "made-up" code, and you evidently believing that others ought to take you seriously when you argue they should do the same, are two very different things. With that in mind, let's consider your examples, which are not exactly of a kind.

1) With regards to law, and matters which fall under law (which includes, for example, commercial transactions like insurance), the reason people should take you seriously when you speak regarding it is because, assuming you speak factually, then their refusal to do so can result in them being forcibly captured by agents of the state, or possibly even killed should they resist. In other words, it's the non-abstract, very much tangible consequences of ignoring the law which compel us to comply with it.

2) By contrast, with regards to matters like chess, language, art, and sports, whether or not one might care to take you seriously would really depend upon whether or not they'd care to associate with you. After all, if my friend and I decide, "Okay, when we play chess, pawns can always move two spaces, even after their first move," that's really between us, and should you suddenly appear and begin arguing, "But the rules of chess say that's wrong!" we are completely within our rights to simply shrug, assuming we do not wish to play chess with you. Likewise, when it comes to language, some regional dialects are quite distinct. If you went into an urban area populated primarily by African Americans and began to dictate to them regarding "proper" English, whether or not they'd take you seriously would depend largely upon whether or not they wanted to be around you. I'm guessing after such a lecture, they probably would not, but who knows? And were you to show up at my door insisting, "Abstract art is seriously art, and you should take it seriously," I'd probably just close my door on your face.

I very much doubt you are threatening to respond with potentially lethal force against anyone who refuses to take seriously your moral view on chicken consumption, so your self-professedly "made-up" morality has more in common with category two than category one. Accordingly, we have an answer: assuming one has no real fear of you refusing to associate with them, they if they do not already agree with you, they have little reason to take your views or arguments seriously, since as you admit, they are "made-up." That's not to say that any of those pursuits are not worth your time; they very well could be, on a case-by-case basis. Yet there's a substantial difference between you deciding that you will live your life without consuming the flesh of chickens because it seems moral to you, and you coming onto a forum and arguing, "Eating chicken is morally wrong," especially when you follow it up with, "And morality is a made-up, non-factual thing."

I said morality is an abstract concepts made up by man (or God if you're religious), I didn't say they aren't important.
"Morality" being important and "HackneyedScribe's made-up code of morality" being important are two very different things, though. Not everyone is necessarily going to agree with you that morality is "made-up" in the first place, after all, even if they are not religious. One can be a proponent of natural law without being religious, for example. One can even be a non-naturalist moral realist; one of my professors was in university, and though I personally felt his arguments poor, at least someone thought they were worth publishing. There are other possibilities as well, but I suspect few (if any) participants in this conversation have much real interest in the matter.

What morale rule, then, do you hold, that justified animal factories?
No, this is the wrong question; one does not require moral justification to act. Should I decide to stand up and stretch my body thirty seconds for now, do I require a moral code to permit it? Of course not; absent any clear and obvious moral limitation, I am permitted to do so, and the same goes for any other action in the world. If you can positively and demonstrably prove somehow that morality requires a ban on factory farming, that is one thing, but absent such a positive, demonstrable proof, then like any action, the matter defaults to permissibility. You've already implicitly agreed with this when you declared, "It should be the more specific assumptions that needs to be proven, not the basic ones"; the absence of a restriction is clearly more "basic" than the presence of a restriction.

And you should prove it if you actually believe that morality can be scientifically proven. And by that, I mean your proof cannot rely on other unproven moral assumptions either. As long as I can ask "why" or "why not", then your statement contains an unproven moral assumption. If you cannot do this, then that means morality must stem from some basic premise that's not proven.
This argument works in my favor, not yours; if morality cannot be meaningfully proven, it means all the moral demands you've claimed exist remain unproven. By contrast, I'm not making moral demands upon anyone here; I am completely content with you eating whatever your "made-up" code dictates.

For example: Murder is bad. Why is murder bad? Because you're hurting someone. Why is hurting someone bad? Because the person don't want to be hurt. Why should the person get what he wants? Because it's his right. Why should it be his right? etc, etc...... It's going to go on and on unless you have SOME basic moral premise that's taken as a given.
If you can find some basic moral premise which is self-evident or which would lead to a contradiction if denied, then perhaps this form of proof might be an effective way to demonstrate, "Murder is bad." By contrast, if you cannot -- if you find your only recourse to be throwing up your hands and saying, "You know, I'll just make something up in order to get the result I wanted." -- then perhaps you aren't as justified in your simple declaration that, "Murder is bad," as you believe yourself to be. Indeed, with regards to any individual act of killing, people might vigorously disagree as to whether or not it is "bad." Example: the recent thread about the Sentinelese killing an unarmed man, in which many people were unconcerned, some seemed to actually be pleased at the man being killed, but had a poster named Tomar taking exception and calling the matter "murder." Many humans recognize a variety of types of killing which they do not necessarily deem to be wrong, so the possibility that you might lack the moral clarity regarding the matter of killing that you believe you have should not shock you.
 
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Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,833
Korea
Part II

That is a false analogy. Whether there is a teapot floating around Pluto or not is a factual statement grounded in physics, not a moralistic statement. If there is a teapot floating around Pluto it's possible to prove it by the scientific method. It's a question of what is happening, not a question of what you should do to be good. You are the ones who stated that certain moral statements are unproven, which implies that there are moral statements that can be proven. I challenge you to scientifically prove any moral statement in that regard, which do not rely on some other unproven assumption.
So we have a distinction: whether a teapot is floating around Pluto is a "factual statement," and supposedly, moral claims are not. If so, that means every single moral claim you have made in this thread is non-factual in character, which in turn means there are no demonstrated, factual moral prohibitions against eating chicken, which means like all actions, it defaults to permissible due to the absence of such restrictions. Honestly, it's unclear to me why you think that after making positive moral claims, you felt that throwing around epistemological smoke bombs would benefit your position.

You are the ones who stated that certain moral statements are unproven, which implies that there are moral statements that can be proven.
Not necessarily. After all, a fundamentally unprovable statement is also of course an unproven statement. It would be a strange thing to declare something to be true and then follow that declaration by saying, "But it's an unprovable matter," but there's nothing especially strange in pointing out that something one does not accept as obviously true to be unproven, whether it's unprovable or not, but especially if one is not necessarily making any claims about whether the matter is provable in the first place and allowing for uncertainty.

And if you think "don't cause undue harm" should not be a basic moral premise, then perhaps you should say what should be a basic moral premise.
Should I? So long as you persist in insisting that morality is a "made-up" thing which is best handled by inventing imaginary first principles out of whole cloth, I don't see how that would profit me. After all, your position has already fatally undermined itself, which really ought to be sufficient for you to reconsider it, yet you do not seem willing to do so, so how much the worse would I fare in attempting to explain my own views to you in a nuanced, careful fashion? Failure is assured at this juncture, so I will not commit to that thankless project.

ure, I suppose if you think "don't cause undue harm" have no basis in morality, and any idea along the lines of "don't cause undue harm" have no basis in morality, then I suppose you could justify a lot of things. But that sort of morality would be unrecognizable to most people.
Yes, it would be unrecognizable to most people. So would a serious mathematical proof regarding any remotely complex matter. Truth is not a democracy; what is recognizable to most people is not much of an epistemological standard.

Well if you can prove there's some Giant Golden Plaque in the universe existing from the Big Bang which says "Thou shall not do etc..." then I'm all ears. Plus, I said morality is an abstract concept that cannot be scientifically proven. That doesn't mean it's not important and should not be adhered to. Plenty of abstract concepts are important to everyday life.
You like this word "should." Why should morality be adhered to? What does "should" even mean in a world where morality is "made-up?" You think eating chicken is immoral, and I'm ordering my children and their babysitter chicken tonight for dinner. Were this illegal, something would happen as a result. Were this against natural law, again, some necessary negative consequence might be anticipated. But what meaning does HackneyedScribe's "should" have in this scenario?

My motive behind saying that morality is a "made up" notion which can't be scientifically proven, is because I see no way to scientifically prove moral standards of any sort.
That was not my question. My question was, "Care to give an honest accounting of your own motive behind arguing in a circular fashion in a thread regarding a topic which you suggest defies characterization in terms of truth and falsity on account of dealing in "made-up" notions?" Evidently I spoke in an unclear fashion, so I'll clarify: you think morality is "made-up," "unproven," and non-factual in character, which in turn necessarily means you think that all your own positive arguments in favor of moral restrictions against eating chicken are inadequate (since were they adequate, you'd presumably consider yourself as having proven something, meaning the matter would no longer be unproven), so what is your motivation in persisting? Even you don't believe you're right by your own accounting of the character of morality, so what is all of this really about?
 
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Feb 2011
6,011
Part I (The forum is making me split this post because it has over 10,000 characters.)



I do not remember saying that you should not "partake" in morality. Rather, I asked you a question: "If you genuinely believe this -- if you genuinely believe that there is no moral truth which can be discovered, but rather, that all morality is simply "made up" -- then why should anyone take your arguments regarding it seriously?" After all, you living your life according to a "made-up" code, and you evidently believing that others ought to take you seriously when you argue they should do the same, are two very different things. With that in mind, let's consider your examples, which are not exactly of a kind.

1) With regards to law, and matters which fall under law (which includes, for example, commercial transactions like insurance), the reason people should take you seriously when you speak regarding it is because, assuming you speak factually, then their refusal to do so can result in them being forcibly captured by agents of the state, or possibly even killed should they resist. In other words, it's the non-abstract, very much tangible consequences of ignoring the law which compel us to comply with it.

2) By contrast, with regards to matters like chess, language, art, and sports, whether or not one might care to take you seriously would really depend upon whether or not they'd care to associate with you. After all, if my friend and I decide, "Okay, when we play chess, pawns can always move two spaces, even after their first move," that's really between us, and should you suddenly appear and begin arguing, "But the rules of chess say that's wrong!" we are completely within our rights to simply shrug, assuming we do not wish to play chess with you. Likewise, when it comes to language, some regional dialects are quite distinct. If you went into an urban area populated primarily by African Americans and began to dictate to them regarding "proper" English, whether or not they'd take you seriously would depend largely upon whether or not they wanted to be around you. I'm guessing after such a lecture, they probably would not, but who knows? And were you to show up at my door insisting, "Abstract art is seriously art, and you should take it seriously," I'd probably just close my door on your face.

I very much doubt you are threatening to respond with potentially lethal force against anyone who refuses to take seriously your moral view on chicken consumption, so your self-professedly "made-up" morality has more in common with category two than category one. Accordingly, we have an answer: assuming one has no real fear of you refusing to associate with them, they if they do not already agree with you, they have little reason to take your views or arguments seriously, since as you admit, they are "made-up." That's not to say that any of those pursuits are not worth your time; they very well could be, on a case-by-case basis. Yet there's a substantial difference between you deciding that you will live your life without consuming the flesh of chickens because it seems moral to you, and you coming onto a forum and arguing, "Eating chicken is morally wrong," especially when you follow it up with, "And morality is a made-up, non-factual thing."



"Morality" being important and "HackneyedScribe's made-up code of morality" being important are two very different things, though. Not everyone is necessarily going to agree with you that morality is "made-up" in the first place, after all, even if they are not religious. One can be a proponent of natural law without being religious, for example. One can even be a non-naturalist moral realist; one of my professors was in university, and though I personally felt his arguments poor, at least someone thought they were worth publishing. There are other possibilities as well, but I suspect few (if any) participants in this conversation have much real interest in the matter.



No, this is the wrong question; one does not require moral justification to act. Should I decide to stand up and stretch my body thirty seconds for now, do I require a moral code to permit it? Of course not; absent any clear and obvious moral limitation, I am permitted to do so, and the same goes for any other action in the world. If you can positively and demonstrably prove somehow that morality requires a ban on factory farming, that is one thing, but absent such a positive, demonstrable proof, then like any action, the matter defaults to permissibility. You've already implicitly agreed with this when you declared, "It should be the more specific assumptions that needs to be proven, not the basic ones"; the absence of a restriction is clearly more "basic" than the presence of a restriction.



This argument works in my favor, not yours; if morality cannot be meaningfully proven, it means all the moral demands you've claimed exist remain unproven. By contrast, I'm not making moral demands upon anyone here; I am completely content with you eating whatever your "made-up" code dictates.



If you can find some basic moral premise which is self-evident or which would lead to a contradiction if denied, then perhaps this form of proof might be an effective way to demonstrate, "Murder is bad." By contrast, if you cannot -- if you find your only recourse to be throwing up your hands and saying, "You know, I'll just make something up in order to get the result I wanted." -- then perhaps you aren't as justified in your simple declaration that, "Murder is bad," as you believe yourself to be. Indeed, with regards to any individual act of killing, people might vigorously disagree as to whether or not it is "bad." Example: the recent thread about the Sentinelese killing an unarmed man, in which many people were unconcerned, some seemed to actually be pleased at the man being killed, but had a poster named Tomar taking exception and calling the matter "murder." Many humans recognize a variety of types of killing which they do not necessarily deem to be wrong, so the possibility that you might lack the moral clarity regarding the matter of killing that you believe you have should not shock you.
So in other words, you haven't proven your moral premise "Pleasure and pain are not morally relevant " at all, if you don't want to prove a negative at least show SOMETHING is morally relevant, but you have not because you can't prove it without relying on an assumption. How is that not making something up? You talk about what this or that isn't morally relevant, then what IS morally relevant to you, and how can you prove it? If you say nothing is morally relevant, then there is no morality.

1) With regards to law, and matters which fall under law (which includes, for example, commercial transactions like insurance), the reason people should take you seriously when you speak regarding it is because, assuming you speak factually, then their refusal to do so can result in them being forcibly captured by agents of the state, or possibly even killed should they resist. In other words, it's the non-abstract, very much tangible consequences of ignoring the law which compel us to comply with it.
Fox, you are only talking about what forces some people to comply with law, but not why law was made in the first place, which is very similar to why morality is made in the first place. Some people comply with law because they want to be a good person, not just because of punishments. Some people make law to enforce moral standards, or out of compassion, or to make the world a better place, not everybody makes law for punishment's sake.

Fox said:
So we have a distinction: whether a teapot is floating around Pluto is a "factual statement," and supposedly, moral claims are not. If so, that means every single moral claim you have made in this thread is non-factual in character, which in turn means there are no demonstrated, factual moral prohibitions against eating chicken, which means like all actions, it defaults to permissible due to the absence of such restrictions. Honestly, it's unclear to me why you think that after making positive moral claims, you felt that throwing around epistemological smoke bombs would benefit your position.
Of course, every single moral claim I have made is based on "don't cause undue harm". It goes without saying that the vast majority of people, apparently excluding you, believe this. The rest is to refrain from contradictions regarding this premise. If you choose to think "don't cause undue harm" is not morally relevant, then you are justified to do a lot of things. Of course, others are just as justified to cause harm to you as well.

And again, for the rest of what you said, you are insofar incapable of proving: "Pleasure and pain are not morally relevant". You have not answered what IS morally relevant, much less proven it. You attack me because I admit that morality depends on at least SOME givens that remain unproven, but you have not shown me otherwise. You have not proven any form of moral claims that don't rely on an assumption.
 
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Fox said:
That was not my question. My question was, "Care to give an honest accounting of your own motive behind arguing in a circular fashion in a thread regarding a topic which you suggest defies characterization in terms of truth and falsity on account of dealing in "made-up" notions?" Evidently I spoke in an unclear fashion, so I'll clarify: you think morality is "made-up," "unproven," and non-factual in character, which in turn necessarily means you think that all your own positive arguments in favor of moral restrictions against eating chicken are inadequate (since were they adequate, you'd presumably consider yourself as having proven something, meaning the matter would no longer be unproven), so what is your motivation in persisting? Even you don't believe you're right by your own accounting of the character of morality, so what is all of this really about?
I am not arguing in a circular fashion, I am trying to prevent arguing in a circular fashion. The only way to not argue in a circular fashion about morals is to have a premise that is taken as a given. I chose a premise that most people would agree with: Don't cause undue harm. Otherwise the argument would become circular as so: Murder is bad. Why is murder bad? Because you're hurting someone. Why is hurting someone bad? Because the person don't want to be hurt. Why should the person get what he wants? Because it's his right. Why should it be his right? etc, etc...... It's going to go on and on unless you have SOME basic moral premise that's taken as a given.

^Your attempt to address this by stating that murder may not be bad, misses the point entirely. I could replace "Murder" with anything and the question of infinite whys and why nots would still persist.

So far you have not stated any moral premise that you think can be proven while being immune to the countless why's and why nots. In which case I can only assume that you have no recourse either but accuse me of not doing what you yourself cannot do. That, I think, is contradictory.

I assumed my audience believed in something akin to the Golden Rule and responded accordingly, just like how a physicist assume his audience believe in the principle of cause and effect. If you think morality is something that the vast majority of the audience is unfamiliar with, then that's your prerogative. But you should at least share your moral standard and prove how it's not "made up", "unfactual", etc, etc.....

Fox said:
So we have a distinction: whether a teapot is floating around Pluto is a "factual statement," and supposedly, moral claims are not. If so, that means every single moral claim you have made in this thread is non-factual in character, which in turn means there are no demonstrated, factual moral prohibitions against eating chicken, which means like all actions, it defaults to permissible due to the absence of such restrictions. Honestly, it's unclear to me why you think that after making positive moral claims, you felt that throwing around epistemological smoke bombs would benefit your position.
Yes, your analogy of a teapot floating around Pluto, if true, can be proven by a telescope. You cannot use a telescope to prove what is moral or not. There is a pretty obvious difference. Morality is regarding what you should or should not do. If you want to talk smokebombs, I am obviously differentiating the physical and cognitive realm, the realm of how the world IS, versus what we should do about it.

As long as you believe harming things are bad in general (you know what I mean, don't nitpick like the murder example), not everything is permissible. Sure, you can't "prove" it scientifically, but you ALSO can't prove the law of cause and effect, which would invalidate your entire knowledge because your knowledge depends on believing that the law of cause and effect is valid. But the only way to prove the law of cause and effect, is to use the law of cause and effect, but you can't use a thing to prove itself. I argue under the premise that the people I talk to actually believes "don't cause undue harm" as a moral principle. If that's not your rule then that's your prerogative, yet you haven't proven the tiniest thing about what you DO believe as a moral principle. You talk as if morality exists, but your standard would disprove of the existence of morality, because no moral standard can be proven by your standard.

Fox said:
Yes, it would be unrecognizable to most people. So would a serious mathematical proof regarding any remotely complex matter. Truth is not a democracy; what is recognizable to most people is not much of an epistemological standard.
Physical truth is not a democracy. Yet some cognitive truths like the definition of a word IS a democracy. A word means what the majority decides it means. Morality is not physical, you can't see it or touch it or smell it. It's cognitive, existing in the mind. I see you have not yet proven the tiniest thing over what is moral, based on your own standards of evidence. Because nothing you say about morality will allow you to pass your own standard of evidence. You expect others to prove something that you know you yourself cannot, yet you accuse them of it even though you yourself have taken a stance regarding morality as well. That is a contradiction.

You are playing with semantics. Obviously I argue with people assuming that they are NORMAL people who believe in "don't cause undue harm" or something similar to the Golden Rule. Of course, if you want to re-define morality as something that most people are completely unfamiliar with, then the conclusion I made would not apply to you. Of course, a world such as yours is probably not a world I would want to live in.

Fox said:
You like this word "should." Why should morality be adhered to? What does "should" even mean in a world where morality is "made-up?" You think eating chicken is immoral, and I'm ordering my children and their babysitter chicken tonight for dinner. Were this illegal, something would happen as a result. Were this against natural law, again, some necessary negative consequence might be anticipated. But what meaning does HackneyedScribe's "should" have in this scenario?
Fox, something negative IS happening when you order chicken, it's just not happening to you. It's happening to the chicken. I hope your actions is determined by more than just what you can get away with. Morality is more than the negative consequence that happens to you, it's about the negative consequences that happens to others. That's a very inherent part of most people's moral compass, and if you want to define morality as a 'law of the jungle' thing that's your prerogative. I'm assuming most of my audience has a moral compass that's closer in line to being selfless as at least one ideal to strive for.

Let's break this down:
-You like eating chicken.
-Chicken don't like being eaten, tortured since birth, being force fed, etc, etc.....
Which of your moral standards allows you to prove that what you want is more important? Use the same standard of evidence you are demanding of me.
^Please address that question first when next you answer. I want to see if you DO have a moral standard at all, or if you are just going to reject every moral standard that's put down, which is equivalent to not believing in morality at all.
 
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Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,833
Korea
So in other words, you haven't proven your moral premise "Pleasure and pain are not morally relevant " at all ...
Of course I have not proven it. You yourself suggested that when a more specific assumption clashes with a more basic assumption, it is only the more specific assumption which requires proof:

HackneyedScribe said:
It should be the more specific assumptions that needs to be proven, not the basic ones.
Accordingly, I put forward the more basic assumption simply to show you that by your own rationale, it was your own more specific assumption which "needs to be proven." How can you condemn me for playing by the rules you yourself proffered in a response to you? Moreover, look back further into the conversation and you'll see that when I introduced that alternative notion, I did so very clearly and specifically in hypothetical terms:

Fox said:
There are certainly valid potential objections to the assertion that raising chickens in battery farms is immoral. One example: the proposition that utilitarianism is flatly wrong on account of being an entirely construed system which is in no way self evident or necessarily self justifying, that pain and pleasure are not the first order objects of moral reasoning, and that the objections to this practice all devolve to expressions of emotion masked as moral reasoning. If one considers the possibility of such an objection, attacking factory farming on moral grounds becomes much, much more difficult.
In other words, I was not making a positive assertion, but rather, pointing out a possibility that, if taken seriously -- and it must be taken seriously by anyone seriously attempting to grapple with this issue -- results in a real problem for any attempt to make moral assertions on utilitarian terms.

if you don't want to prove a negative at least show SOMETHING is morally relevant ...
It is not impossible that I could be convinced to do that, but convincing me to do so would require you immediately taking much, much more seriously the completely fatal, internally-contradictory nature of your position as you've stated it over the course of this thread and either repudiating it, reformulating it as something non-contradictory, or alternatively, providing an actually compelling case for why simultaneously insisting, "Eating chickens is morally wrong!" and "Moral claims are made-up, non-factual things which have no truth value and cannot be proven!" is not such a contradictory position. I do not believe you will do any of these things, and I have said what I have to say, as you raise no meaningful new counter-arguments in your response. Accordingly, it seems we are at an impasse, which is fine. After all, by your own admission, you have made no factually true statements regarding morality in this thread, and thus, there's nothing to actually rebut in your posts absent serious revision; after all, you have admitted that, "Eating chickens is wrong" is decidedly not factually true.

Thank you for the pleasure of the conversation.
 
Feb 2011
6,011
Of course I have not proven it. You yourself suggested that when a more specific assumption clashes with a more basic assumption, it is only the more specific assumption which requires proof:
Yet you have given neither basic nor specific assumptions about your standard of morality. I have given you plenty of chances to do so. I'm asking you to give one of your moral standards that can be proven as according to your own goalpost. You gave me a reason why you shouldn't have to give out one type of your moral standard. Well give out some other type than.

Fox said:
Accordingly, I put forward the more basic assumption simply to show you that by your own rationale, it was your own more specific assumption which "needs to be proven." How can you condemn me for playing by the rules you yourself proffered in a response to you? Moreover, look back further into the conversation and you'll see that when I introduced that alternative notion, I did so very clearly and specifically in hypothetical terms:
No, what you put forward is not basic at all. If you say that "Pleasure and pain is not relevant to morality", then I can say that "pain is relevant to morality", which is more basic than what you put forward. Ergo you are not playing by the rules I put forward, as your premise is not as basic as it could be. Plus, infinitely more relevant, I was asking you to play by the rules YOU put forward, not the rules I put forward. And the rule you put forward is that you must prove ALL your moral standards, not just the less basic ones.

Fox said:
In other words, I was not making a positive assertion, but rather, pointing out a possibility that, if taken seriously -- and it must be taken seriously by anyone seriously attempting to grapple with this issue -- results in a real problem for any attempt to make moral assertions on utilitarian terms.
You put forward an assertion that would mean the cessation of morality. Otherwise why don't you represent your basic moral premise and prove it?

Fox said:
It is not impossible that I could be convinced to do that, but convincing me to do so would require you immediately taking much, much more seriously the completely fatal, internally-contradictory nature of your position as you've stated it over the course of this thread and either repudiating it, reformulating it as something non-contradictory, or alternatively, providing an actually compelling case for why simultaneously insisting, "Eating chickens is morally wrong!" and "Moral claims are made-up, non-factual things which have no truth value and cannot be proven!" is not such a contradictory position. I do not believe you will do any of these things, and I have said what I have to say, as you raise no meaningful new counter-arguments in your response. Accordingly, it seems we are at an impasse, which is fine. After all, by your own admission, you have made no factually true statements regarding morality in this thread, and thus, there's nothing to actually rebut in your posts absent serious revision; after all, you have admitted that, "Eating chickens is wrong" is decidedly not factually true.

Thank you for the pleasure of the conversation.
I see you completely ignored the premise "don't cause undue harm", ergo "eating chickens is wrong". Because eating chickens causes harm to the chicken, there is a lot of evidence that chickens can feel pain, and the harm is undue because there are alternative ways to get your protein.
What you are doing is simply playing with semantics. It is more than obvious that when I am speaking about morality, I am assuming that the audience believes in the very basic "don't cause undue harm" or something very similar to the Golden Rule, and I am arguing accordingly based off of these premises. That you would argue against such a premise because "there's no proof" (and you haven't proven any of your own ethical points by such a standard, only long winded excuses) is not the type of audience I have in mind. I already admitted that if you drop any moral premise similar to "don't cause undue harm" out the window, then you have a moral license to do a lot of things, including eating chicken, or even eating people for that matter. But it's beyond obvious I assumed I was talking to a person with a NORMAL standard of morality, and was making an argument based off of that. What more do you want?

In summary:
IF you believe in "don't cause undue harm", then you shouldn't eat chickens from animal factories because it harms the chicken and you can get your protein in other ways.
IF you believe in the Golden Rule, then you shouldn't eat chickens because you yourself don't want to born in a human factory and be treated as inventory for all your life.
IF you believe in the rule of treat others as they want to be treated, then you shouldn't eat chickens because chickens don't want to be stuck in a tiny cage all of their life.
IF you believe that selflessness is an ideal, then you should try to refrain from causing pain even if you benefit from it

I didn't believe I had to say these "ifs", they should be obvious that I am arguing based on either these premises or premises akin to these. Nor did I make up any of the "ifs" listed above, those rules have been in existence long before I was born. And I know people are going to twist these things beyond what they are intended for, like 'what if they want to be treated as a Living God and worshiped", but to do so would mean breaking the same rule for everybody else. And sure, if you don't believe in any of the "ifs" listed above, and hence define morality to be something completely alien to the rest of the normal people, then you are of course justified by your own moral compass to support animal factories, or human factories for that matter. But I'm assuming that most people reading have a different moral compass and my claims are based on the result of what the normal moral premises say, not on strange ones like yours which I can't possibly predict (after all you wouldn't even tell me what they are).


And at the end, you ignored the following I asked of you.

Let's break this down:
-You like eating chicken.
-Chicken don't like being eaten, tortured since birth, being force fed, etc, etc.....
Which of your moral standards allows you to prove that what you want is more important? Use the same standard of evidence you are demanding of me, I really want to see how moral standards can be proven scientifically as if it was physics.
^Last time I asked you this type of question all you did was make one incredibly long winded, run-on sentence answer attacking me with vague statements, nothing specific. That's barely even an excuse, more like a smokebomb.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,171
Brassicaland
Yet you have given neither basic nor specific assumptions about your standard of morality. I have given you plenty of chances to do so.



No, what you put forward is not basic at all. If you say that "Pleasure and pain is not relevant to morality", then I can say that "pain is relevant to morality", which is more basic than what you put forward. Ergo you are not playing by the rules I put forward, as your premise is not more basic. Plus, I am asking you to play by the rules YOU put forward, which is that you must prove ALL your moral standards, not just the less basic ones.



You put forward an assertion that would mean the cessation of morality. Otherwise why don't you represent your basic moral premise and prove it?



I see you completely ignored the premise "don't cause undue harm", ergo "eating chickens is wrong". Because eating chickens causes harm to the chicken, there is a lot of evidence that chickens can feel pain, and the harm is undue because there are alternative ways to get your protein.
What you are doing is simply playing with semantics. It is more than obvious that when I am speaking about morality, I am assuming that the audience believes in the very basic "don't cause undue harm" or something very similar to the Golden Rule, and I am arguing accordingly based off of these premises. That you would argue against such a premise because "there's no proof" (and you haven't proven any of your own ethical points by such a standard, only long winded excuses) is not the type of audience I have in mind. I already admitted that if you drop any moral premise similar to "don't cause undue harm" out the window, then you have a moral license to do a lot of things, including eating chicken, or even eating people for that matter. But it's beyond obvious I assumed I was talking to a person with a NORMAL standard of morality, and was making an argument based off of that. What more do you want?

And at the end, you ignored the following.

Let's break this down:
-You like eating chicken.
-Chicken don't like being eaten, tortured since birth, being force fed, etc, etc.....
Which of your moral standards allows you to prove that what you want is more important? Use the same standard of evidence you are demanding of me.
^Please address that question first when next you answer. I want to see if you DO have a moral standard at all, or if you are just going to reject every moral standard that's put down, which is equivalent to not believing in morality at all. I also want to see how you could scientifically prove what's right and wrong without using some premise as a given.
Being birds, chickens are "relatively advanced" animals and demonstrate a certain degree of cognitive ability.
Currently, the most popular meats are from pigs, poultry and cattle, and all of them are known for fairly advanced cognitive ability as far as animals are concerned.
Now, we can discuss about more "primitive" creatures such as crustaceans, fish, and molluscs.
The Chinese have a cuisine called "drunk prawns/shrimps", in which live prawns/shrimps are put into liquor and boiled alive; I consider this cruelty anyway.
It is still debatable whether crustaceans or molluscs feel pain when being killed alive.
Fish are debatable as well; as the third most popular pets in the USA, many fish keepers will tell that fish have affections and feelings as well.
Now, we turn to a few issues there as well:
What protein sources are the most environmentally sustainable?
Since all animals value their lives, is vegetarianism or veganism the best way to go?
Why most humans are not vegetarians or vegans today?
 
Jun 2012
7,033
Malaysia
I'm not speaking for plants, science is, and science says the brain is the seat of thought.
You are just making a blatant anti-intellectual argument. If you think plants can think or feel then show the plant organ which allows it to do that. This is biology 101.

I may not be a plant, but I'm not a lot of things. I'm not a brick, I'm not a pencil, I'm not a car. But I know they don't feel for the same reason I know a plant don't feel: no brain.
You are just making a blatant anti-plant argument, to save yourself from feeling guilty about eating food of plant origin. So that it would save you from having to eat brick.

You might be hard pressed to find a plant which can think or argue like Plato or Aristotle. But this plant here below certainly can feel.

Seen this somewhere before?


Mimosa pudica. Also called sensitive plant, touch-me-not, shy plant etc. A creeping annual or perennial flowering plant of the pea/legume family. You contact it, or you even breathe hard on it, its compound leaves fold inward and droop immediately, to defend themselvs from harm, only to open up again some minutes later.

In our place, it tends to grow virtually anywhere there is some relatively open ground. So, I'm quite surprised to read that it's in fact grown by some folks for its curiosity value. It's sharp thorns are a bane for barefoot walkers, which we still often were when I was a kid. But hardy type, terrain seasoned barefooters develop a thickly calloused foot sole soon enough, and tread away nonchalantly on it like it isn't there.
 
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