måndag 8 juli 2013

Morality: Why becoming vegan/stop eating meat and other animal foods - is not 'a matter of opinon'

First read this:  Vegan reply to 'Morality is a matter of opinion'

You are rejecting an objective morality and then you are claiming that I have the burden of proof. I disagree. You can’t prove that morals are subjective. It is your opinion. I think the burden of proof is on the person that is trying to claim that it is acceptable to inflict unnecessary harm and death upon other sentient beings – humans as well as nonhumans. Only by being apathic or endorsing other sentient beings being inflicted unnecessary suffering and death, can you create any real suffering and harm. You can’t have any theoretical certainty about your position at all. You are, I hope, trying to live a life of compassion and love towards your fellow human beings. You only need to extend this love and compassion towards nonhuman animals and stop inflicting unnecessary harm upon them by going vegan. As Philosopher Gary Francione clearly demonstrates in his writings that the case for becoming vegan is very strong; and shows that you are required to go vegan to live according to your moral belief that it is morally wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death upon nonhuman animals: http://articles.philly.com/2009-08-14/news/24986151_1_atlanta-falcons-quarterback-vick-illegal-dog-dog-fights and http://www.eatlikeyoucarebook.com/
You probably already try to follow the principle of not inflicting unnecessary harm and death toward nonhuman animals, e.g. you are probably opposed to animal abuse and would hopefully step in if you saw someone trying to abuse and kill a dog. You only need to be consistent in this principle, and stop paying people for engaging in completely unnecessary industrialized animal abuse and exploitation to produce animal foods.

I also recommend this article: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/a-comment-on-violence/#.Udrxm21RfO4

As for your appeal to nature-argument for consuming animal products, I recommend you to read this article: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/no-its-not-natural/#.Udr6WG1RfO4
I disagree with the statement that we are omnivores (biologically we are not):

Even if we biologically were omnivores, it wouldn’t morally justify the consumption of animal foods, just like that our ability of engaging in engaging in violence and discrimination against other humans justify this behavior.

You wrote: “the rejection of man-made moral codes means the rejection of all love and compassion. But in so many cases, morals and compassion are themselves in conflict.

It depends on whether you live according to your beliefs or not. Not standing up against violence and discrimination, or engaging in violence and discrimination, makes this world into a world of less love and compassion.

I argue that we humans do share the moral intuition that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary harm and death upon other beings. Almost everyone in this world argue that humans have a moral value, and that this means that we have moral obligations in terms of how we behave against each other, including that it is morally wrong to inflict unnecessary harm and death against other humans. Many people discriminate based on irrelevant criteria against other people and claim that we don’t have certain moral obligations to other people. However this doesn’t negate that we humans have a shared moral intuition. These instances only describe cultural prejudice that people adopt through cultural indoctrination. People of all cultures are claiming that we have moral obligations against other sentient beings, with the capacity of feeling suffering, including the obligation not to inflict unnecessary suffering upon them. Sometimes because of cultural prejudice, some people are irrationally excluded from some people’s moral concern. I argue that our moral intuition is not to inflict unnecessary harm and death upon anyone that are sentient and can be harmed. Sometimes people use irrational arguments to exclude people from this principle, either by claiming that the harm is necessary, or by using other irrational arguments (appealing to ‘tradition’, supposedly ‘natural order’, e.g. of god), and people become convinced to this arguments by cultural indoctrination. The same is true of speciecism. People use irrational arguments to exclude other species from their moral concern.

The moral intuition of our population, whom recognizes that animals are sentient and able to feel suffering, is clearly that we shouldn’t inflict them any unnecessary suffering. This is e.g. why there was such a public outcry against Michael Vick: http://articles.philly.com/2009-08-14/news/24986151_1_atlanta-falcons-quarterback-vick-illegal-dog-dog-fights

“In fact, in the case of small local farmers and free range farmers, humans are more compassionate in killing than any other species.

Many of the farmers you refer to, e.g. the farmers of ‘free range farmers’ of “free-range chickens” exploit the animals throughout all their lives. You can easily Google this.
It is interesting that refer to the notion of compassionate (‘sympathetic
consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it’)
I think you can theorize as much as you like, but I don’t think you on a deeper plan can convince yourself about that murder and inflicting unnecessary suffering and violence is ‘as good’ as fighting against violence, discrimination, unnecessary suffering and death; and that it is an irrelevant struggle just as fighting for making people prefer apples over bananas. I don’t think that you on a deep level can convince yourself of that morals is just a matter of subjective opinion, I think it is only a theoretical construct that people have in their heads. I think you can feel very satisfied on a deep level as a human being when you are helping people, are fighting against violence and discrimination, and that violence and discrimination never can satisfy yourself on a deep level.

You wrote: “And, by the way, the imposition of one person/group’s morality on other people (speaking of Nazis) has created a lot more suffering and violence and apathy in the world (all those that stand and watch) than amorality, which has never been popular enough to create nearly as much harm as you seem to think.”

More accurately you should say that the imposition of discrimination and unnecessary violence based on irrelevant criteria has created a lot of suffering, violence and apathy. The Nazism prevailed because that so many stood indifferent and silent against this discrimination. Your view that ‘morals are subjective’ is giving people a pass from standing up against discrimination and violence, and it may even encourage them to participate in such, since they can comfort themselves with the view that there is no such thing as unjust discrimination, violence and injustice.


Further discussion:

“remember, you are the one trying to convince me to change my behavior, while i have no interest in changing yours. that being the case, where does the burden of proof truly lie?”

Where does the burden of proof lie – on a person being racist or a person trying to convince someone to reject racism?
Where does the burden of proof lie – on a person murdering others or a person trying to convince someone to stop murdering persons?

You are claiming that I should prove my claim of whether there is such thing as an objective moral. It is impossible to prove such a claim, and it is impossible to prove your claim that morals are subjective.

“when i say morality is a matter of opinion because it is unproven, i am not merely giving my opinion, but simply following the definition of the word "opinion'. anything not back by fact is opinion, that's simply the definition of the word. and the conflicting moralities throughout culture and history, i consider evidence of subjectivity.”

It isn’t. Cultural indoctrination is very powerful.

We all know this from our era in which many are influenced by the discrimination and violence of speciecism and sexism. People claim that it is morally wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death upon animals, but yet they daily do it through their daily meals. People are living in a way that contradicts their moral intuition.

It is also very possible to severely damage our moral intuition. This is what people are doing when they are excluding human animals and nonhuman animals from their moral concern, and is starting to exploit, harm and kill them. The more you participate of your exploitation, the more you destroy your moral intuition.

If you are part of a culture where you have a tradition of exploiting say other people groups or other species, and you do this on a regular basis, e.g. at every meal, you lose a lot of your love, compassion and inner intuition of what is morally right and wrong.

So you will find cultures in which exploitation of other people groups and species are celebrated, you will find cultures in exploitation based on sexism, heterosexism, ageism and racism are celebrated and are the norm, and you will find cultures with various other forms of discrimination and violence.

But in no way does this prove that morals are subjective.

Speaking of cultural indoctrination, violence and injustices, I also recommend this article:
Why does many people abuse humans, dogs, cats and other animals?:

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