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Who are the pests?

Re: Who are the pests?
January 20, 2014, 06:10:23 AM
My position is that if you are ethically opposed to murder of humans, then it would follow that you would have to be vegan. And if you believe that racism and sexism are ethically and logically incoherent ideologies, then you have to be against speciesism in the same way.
Perhaps I am missing something. Say I am opposed to the murder of humans because of their fine manipulative control of their surrounding ecosystem, as you put it. This makes them akin to gods. The rest of nature is profane. Humanity is Sacred. How is this position incoherent? By your own definition, nature and humanity are separate entities. "Speciesism" (I feel dirty just typing that nonsense out) is the only logical outcome.

Because the question concerned whether killing could be honorable (which I took to require fairness), even though in my opinion neither of these things are even relevant to the ethics of killing. If you think that using the full tool kit is still honorable, then you would logically have to think that it is honorable to kill a man with a baseball bat while he sleeps.
It is the "while he sleeps" that is causing the debate to stall, and that is because it is contrived to do so. Killing someone "while he sleeps" is not solely part of a toolkit. Whereas attacking vulnerability certainly is part of a toolkit, this particular example ought to concurrently be considered a circumstance, a setting. We're talking about the difference between choosing which weapons to take to a battle, versus deciding under which circumstances battle is an acceptable option in the first place. Those are two completely distinct factors, and the intent to combine them into one is just plain manipulative.

But yes, doing so can be honorable. It depends. Are you killing him to steal his car keys? Then no, I doubt anyone would find that honorable(or even understandable, frankly). But what if you're killing him because he raped your daughter and managed to squirm his way out of prison time? I would consider that an honorable killing.

Honor doesn't have anything to do with fairness anyway, honor refers simply to preserving your reputation among your fellow men.

In context of the hunt, though: you seem to fail to understand that humans use spears, arrows, traps, and guns because humans are at an inherent physical disadvantage. It is not a matter of men already being stronger, faster, and smarter than beasts, and then piling on even more ways to enforce superiority. The animal already exists at a higher level, and is in its element; these tools are ways to level the playing field.

Re: Who are the pests?
January 20, 2014, 06:27:13 AM
How many of you characters has ever actively hunted?
Of the almost none, how many did it purely for survival?
How much success did you have?
What tools did you use?
Do you still hunt?
If not, why did you stop?
I have been on three deer hunts.

I'm posting on the internet, so it was almost certainly not for survival.

I killed a large doe on the second outing. The first shot went through her shoulder or neck, and the second went through her heart, dropping her. I also shot at a buck on the first outing, but missed.

Shed, .30-06, scent markers, and a feed dispenser on the first two outings. The third lacked the shed and feed dispenser.

I do not still hunt, although I won't say I'll never do it again.

Although the experience was not entirely negative, and it was rewarding, I also found it to be wasteful and unnecessary.

It was meant to be a bonding experience with my father, but I found him too annoying, leaving me with no desire to engage in such an act. He hasn't changed since then, but I have. So perhaps at some point in the future I may attempt this again.

As for the kill itself, it did not provide me with much pleasure. A lot of it felt artificial - the dispenser, the markers, etc. There was a sensation that not only the deer itself, but in fact the region as a whole, would have been better off had I not presented myself. This was not a manifestation of self-hatred or anything like that; it was just recognition of the very simple fact that I had done nothing to improve on what already was.

And to be perfectly honest, I did not enjoy taking the life of a beast. I do not think I would have been able to admit that so frankly at the time, but I can now. One can hear all the arguments in the world as to why it is morally neutral to do so, or on the other end of the scale, why it is no different than buying your meat in a market and thereby paying someone else to do your killing for you. None of this matters once you have the experience of being directly and solely responsible for the termination of something beautiful.

Now, do not take this to mean that I regret having done it. As I said, it was simultaneously rewarding for other reasons. But, the only question you asked is why I stopped.

Re: Who are the pests?
January 29, 2014, 01:28:26 AM
Perhaps I am missing something. Say I am opposed to the murder of humans because of their fine manipulative control of their surrounding ecosystem, as you put it...
This position is a non-sequitur, as being part of a regime that controls nature is unrelated to one's suitability/propensity/will to continue living. It's a non-sequitur in the same way as being opposed to murdering white people because of the colour of their skin. Also remember how white people have had the power to manipulate and control black people in the past.

...This makes them akin to gods. The rest of nature is profane. Humanity is Sacred. How is this position incoherent? By your own definition, nature and humanity are separate entities. "Speciesism" (I feel dirty just typing that nonsense out) is the only logical outcome.
I suppose you could assign some kind of "merit" to humanity (I wouldn't) for its ability to destroy nature. We need to unpack what is really meant by speciesism (and by extension, bigotry) though. I can provide some examples that may help:

Example 1:
I have limited supplies of sunscreen, so I preferentially offer it to the white person sitting next to me in preference to the black person.
Verdict: The requirement for sunscreen is linked biologically or physiologically to race in this example, so the association is not a non-sequitur, therefore it is not racism, and not bigotry.

Example 2:
I have a policy of hiring white people in preference to black people in cases where their qualifications are comparable.
Verdict: The ability to do the job is not logically related to race, so the association is a non-sequitur, therefore it is racism (bigotry).

Example 3:
I hear about a captive breeding program for an endangered species. I'm pretty uncomfortable about it because I know I would never accept such a thing for humans, but it's explained to me that because of how badly we've screwed the ecosystem, this species is likely to go extinct, which will have a flow-on effect and harm other animals, and the breeding program will boost numbers in the wild.
Verdict: Since we have caused the demise of the species through our ability to manipulate nature, and their low numbers have now become a characteristic of the species that necessitates increasing the numbers, it logically follows that we should use our manipulation of nature in a way that directly addresses the characteristic of endangerment and helps the species and surrounding ecosystem. I might be opposed to keeping animals in captivity, but I wouldn't be able to use speciesism as grounds for opposition, since the necessity is logically connected to species differences and is not a non-sequitur. This is therefore not speciesism or bigotry.

Example 4:
I'm getting lazy now. So just think of an example where you say it's ok to kill someone because of Characteristic X, but in reality Characteristic X has nothing to do with suitability/propensity/will to continue living. If X is a race then it's racism. If X is a species, or the possession of a tail/feathers/gills, lack of opposing thumbs, ability to be controlled by humans (which is effectively the reason you used) etc. then it's speciesism, a form of bigotry.

Basically, in order for the killing in Example 4 to be logically consistent, Characteristic X would have to relate directly to suitability/propensity/will to live. If you have a policy of killing the terminally ill and suffering (euthanasia) then this would not be a non-sequitur. You could say a similar thing about killing all suicidal people. I would still be opposed to it and deem it unnecessary, but I wouldn't be able to call you a bigot.

It is the "while he sleeps" that is causing the debate to stall, and that is because it is contrived to do so. Killing someone "while he sleeps" is not solely part of a toolkit. Whereas attacking vulnerability certainly is part of a toolkit, this particular example ought to concurrently be considered a circumstance, a setting. We're talking about the difference between choosing which weapons to take to a battle, versus deciding under which circumstances battle is an acceptable option in the first place. Those are two completely distinct factors, and the intent to combine them into one is just plain manipulative.
Surely choosing circumstance is part of the toolkit?
But yes, doing so can be honorable. It depends. Are you killing him to steal his car keys? Then no, I doubt anyone would find that honorable(or even understandable, frankly). But what if you're killing him because he raped your daughter and managed to squirm his way out of prison time? I would consider that an honorable killing.
Agreed. Did any of the animals killed for meat, eggs and dairy knowingly rape your daughter?

Honor doesn't have anything to do with fairness anyway, honor refers simply to preserving your reputation among your fellow men.

In context of the hunt, though: you seem to fail to understand that humans use spears, arrows, traps, and guns because humans are at an inherent physical disadvantage. It is not a matter of men already being stronger, faster, and smarter than beasts, and then piling on even more ways to enforce superiority. The animal already exists at a higher level, and is in its element; these tools are ways to level the playing field.
I guess if you're saying that a level playing field doesn't matter in a discussion of honour (or even ethics I assume) then there's probably no point arguing that last bit. Either way, it's a non-sequitur if we're talking about whether someone should be killed.