lördag 2 mars 2013

Religious,Torah and Netzarim-views on animals vs. what intuition tells us about treating animals

My reply to a blog comment:
Good evening,
You wrote: “The conclusion was to reject that the Torah is the best and most concise instruction manual for life. “
From the Torah people learned that it is okay to domesticate and kill animals. Today more than 56 billion animals and more than 1000 of marine animals are being killed – mainly for that people desire the taste of “meat”, milk, eggs and other animal products. To kill an individual does always involve unnecessary pain. Animals don’t want to die (see e.g. Earthlings and the videos at www.vegankit.com). The  most horrendous cases you can see of animal abuse is a consequence of animals being regarded as "property", which you preach each time you partake of animal products and endorse that animals are living confined.
If Torah instead would have advocated not harming and killing any animals, and Jews would have advocated veganism, there would be much less animal abuse in this world.
I recommend this: http://cup.columbia.edu/static/interview-gary-francione

There are also more unethical practices, e.g. killing people who are working on Shabbat, killing innocent children and animals at war, killing all people of Amalek because of a supposed transgression their ancestors did, and much more.

“But the Torah is unequivocal that the earth was created for man and animals are for his use. Can you work out a logic statement from that? Man use's animals but does not cause animal unnecessary pain.”

It has to be objective. We can’t assume a religious book to be true. We know intuitively that it is morally wrong to cause animals (including ourselves) unnecessary suffering and death.
The Torah-permission of eating “meat” and other animal products can’t be used as an excuse to cause animals (including ourselves) unnecessary suffering and death. Just because some authors living in a society of domestication and slavery of animals, and that this influenced their writings, doesn’t justify us to adopt their misguided beliefs.
The culture the Israelites was a culture where dominating and domesticating animals into a life in slavery was a routine practice, so this also became an integral part of their religion.
You are taking another individuals life for “taste”, “enjoyment”, or “convenience”, or religious “sacrifice”.  You are making the statement that your “taste” is more important than their life. This is certainly not the belief of the animal, and you are causing the animal unnecessary pain since the “meat” and other health products are not necessary and are detrimental for you health: http://www.adelicatebalance.com.au/
You wrote:
“What is human intuition? Your intuition, my intuition? Is it a majority ruling? And what is the Torah's unsubstantiated view? This is not about Torah. You forget that David the King would have executed a man for killing a lamb that was dear to another man. I suppose that part of Torah you exclude. Or the story of the "angel" that would have killed Bilaam and spared his donkey. Why is it even permitted to ride a horse? How do we know what the horse feels about that or maybe your intuition tells you?”

The same intuition that makes you understand that it is morally wrong to take the life of the dog or cat you take care of for “taste” or “enjoyment”
 I recommend this article: <a href=”http://articles.philly.com/2009-08-14/news/24986151_1_atlanta-falcons-quarterback-vick-illegal-dog-dog-fights”>Article comparing Michael Vick and dog fighting and people eating animal products for “taste” or “enjoyment”</a>
I am against riding horses. You can study about animals and ethology. Even having dogs takes away from the freedom of an animal. I am against all domestication of animals –regardless of species. Still recommend this article: <a href=” http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/what-are-the-roots-of-freedom-and-slavery/”> What are the Roots of Freedom and Slavery?</a>
What is written in Torah about treatment of animals is always written in the context of the culture that is oppressing and confining animals – and in which it is okay to take the freedom and the life of another animal.

You wrote: “You should know better as a computer programmer. You know how complex a program can be and how mistakes and omissions can cause warnings and a program not to run at all. So suddenly animals are equal to humans. Not just cruelty and mistreatment of animals which was addressed thousands of years ago.”

Humans and other animals are different – different qualities, different attributes, different things we can and can’t do. However, this does in no way justify taking the freedom and life of another being.

“Not just cruelty and mistreatment of animals”

This failed because it was in a culture using and abusing animals – taking their lives and freedom. “Cruelty and mistreatment” must always been seen in the victims point of view. Animals want to live so taking their perspective it is a cruel action to take their life.

You wrote: “I doubt you have even read one research paper on the difference between a rain forest and a grassy plain when it comes to the real effects on the ecosystem.”

If you have studied about the environmental impacts of domesticating and killing more  than 57 billion land-animals per year + more than 1000 billion of fish, I don’t think you are doubting that it is bad for the environment. You can also read up on mass-extinction of animals and the connection. How the massive cutting down of rain-forests in Latin America for “pasture land” is driving people away from where they live, and then that some of these people are creating guerillas. Western countries are taking areas that poor people need to grow plants to have “livestock” and grow food for these animals with the tragic misfortune of ending up on someone’s plates. This movies contains good references (the second part of it): http://www.adelicatebalance.com.au/
This is another good lecture (plus his book) about how animal exploitation is effecting the environment, people and other animals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvZpF1R6GUo

You wrote: “You had trouble understanding caloric intake with vegetables and bread until you looked at some numbers on the internet.”
Don’t remember exactly what I thought and how I expressed it. I do know since 2007 that I needed to supplement fruits, vegetables and some legumes with eating grains, and that the fruits and vegetables contain much fewer calories than grains. I also know that me being angry at that time from what I thought was unjustified treatment might both cause me to think more unclear and to express myself in a more unclear way. In any case, all people are at times doing big errors in reasoning and we can’t base any reliable conclusions upon this. And I made much, much bigger errors in reasoning than I possibly did with this (e.g. about religion). People change.

“ But I have not seen any numbers in your posts besides those that would take weeks or an expert to verify. You grab data from any website that agrees with your premise, a premise based on human intuition. “
Anyhow, statements like this are just assumptions. I don’t grab data from any website that agrees with my premise.

“The URL still doesn't load after trying twice again. Maybe Chrome is the problem. “
Try this: http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf

You wrote: “Of course Torah's commandments were influenced by it's authors. Why must you try and remove man from this equation? Your reasoning and anyone you read that you happen to agree with is better than Torah, why? It's still human reasoning, but is it based on an objective discrete mathematical logic?”
First of all, you can’t reach the conclusion that Torah is objective truth using ‘objective discrete mathematical logic’. The premises and assumptions you must put into that equation are erroneous (e.g. the reasoning that I so much loved to use when I was a part of the Netzarim).
I act according to my conviction and intuition that it is morally wrong to kill and oppress other beings - regardless of species. Human children would never go out and kill other beings if they weren’t taught to. As I said before, put a bunny in the same room as a small child…..
You can call it “opinion” if that suits you. I don’t agree. I think intuition is an integral part of a man, and that partaking in killing and inflicting pain on other beings suppresses this intuition.

“How many times have you tried to input your data into a logic equation and found it to be true? Let's see it. Your preference or opinion is all that seems to matter to you.”
And what matters to you are opinions of men, the writers of Torah, who had been raised in a culture in which it was okay to domesticate, dominate and kill other animals – and they didn’t question it.  Do you question it or do you just believe?
You wrote: “You have built into your opinion a fiction that an animal is equal to a human when they are clearly not.”
We are also animals. This is your opinion that they are not equal in the sense that they have the same right as humans to live a life in freedom without humans putting limitations on them that are causing them suffering and death.
You wrote: “You have imagined that an animal has rights when apart from morality, which is what the Torah is, a man has no rights.”

You, and maybe the authors of the Torah, are assuming that animals have no moral. Animals put their life at risk and save other animals from life-dangers, herbivores don’t kill any other sentient beings. Both of these are good and moral actions.
I don’t agree with the notion that if an animal acts in an immoral behavior he/she loses his/her rights to live. Neither do I think this is correct with other animals. Animals have a moral value and rights because of their sentience, because of the fact that they are beings.

You wrote: “It is the Torah that says not to boil a kid in it's mother's milk, which is a clear direction not to be cruel to animals. But that is not good enough for you.”

Apart from what I have written above, it is cruel to drain cows on their calcium and milk that their calves need; and to steal the milk from another being. Furthermore as proven in the research referred to above, it is detrimental to human health – i.e. cruel to humans. To kill a young kid is also a cruel action. I think that the people doing the killing are good-hearted, but very disconnected to the animals, because of the oppression they have been partaking in and their exclusion they have been taught since childhood.
You wrote: “Nature allows for the killing of animals for food but that you do not allow.”
You will find many cruel behaviors in nature, so you wouldn’t agree that this is a criterion for us humans to find a moral lifestyle.

You wrote:” If animals and humans were equal you would need to hunt down all predators animals and keep them from killing for food.”

I do believe saving other animals if I have the opportunity, e.g. a rabbit getting hunted by a fox. However, I don’t believe in killing other sentient beings that are inflicting pain on other beings – regardless of it is a lion or a human.
You wrote: “But all animals are clearly not equal, nor do they feel like humans nor love their families. “
They have feelings. They probably don’t feel in the exact same way as humans, but they do feel. Animals are equal as I covered above.

Since the word of God can only be written by mortals how can it be written other than according to their own indoctrinated prejudice?. If there is a God, surely he must be a God of love for all His creations.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Animals are equal to humans.
    This is a false statement.
    Rejecting discrete mathematical logic is not tolerable.
    I am sorry you cut yourself off.
    Only you can return and I hope you will.

  2. You wrote: "Animals are equal to humans. This is a false statement."
    Both have an equal right to live their full life without oppression from other men.
    The only reason you state otherwise is because of that you assume the Torah to be true.

    Torah is heavily influenced by the cultural beliefs that its authors and later redactors grow up with. It got wrong because its authors and redactors were ingrained in erroneous cultural beliefs and thus couldn't accurately describe an ethical lifestyle and the purpose of man.
    The instructions of an ethical lifestyle we can find written in our intuition - e.g. don't inflict unnecessary suffering and death on any being, treat others with love and compassion.
    Unfortunately many are effected by our culture to choose to adapt our cultural beliefs of oppression towards other sentient beings. This suppresses their intuition. Stopping to partaking in the oppression and developing love and compassion to all beings helps us regain understanding of what is an ethical lifestyle and how to treat others with love and compassion. People lose their purpose when they kill other sentient beings and cause them to lose their purpose.
    We reap what we sow.

    "Rejecting discrete mathematical logic is not tolerable"
    I haven't. I reject erroneous assumptions and premises. Logic is an accurate tools to arrive to conclusions. However if your input-premises are invalid your conclusions will be invalid.

    "I am sorry you cut yourself off."
    Persons with your beliefs sadly cut yourselves off from learning essential parts of an ethical lifestyle, since you already think you have the truth, and since you are living in a way that is inflicting harm upon others. I did it myself for many years.

    I really hope that you will start questioning what you learn, and stop inflicting suffering and death upon other sentient beings, and dig much deeper!!