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#22337 - 07/18/07 11:58 PM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: stereoman]
BC Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 7507
Loc: ...Grand Ledge...
All living things have a "natural" right. Goofy huh? Nah... We're driven by what nature has provided us. Most animals have & react on instinct. Plants thrive on what nature gives them, and perishes when that isn't given or some other "natural" piece of life decides the plant is part of a necessary/desirable food chain. Maybe "decides" is a little generous. Animals "decide" about that food chain the same way, and sometimes/often other animals are part of that food chain.

"Supposedly" the human animal has a higher capability to make decisions. Supposedly the human animal goes beyond instinct, and appreciates, reasons and applies a minimal amount of intelligence when dealing with other life around it. Yeah, we have a salad, weed whack a...uh, weed and raise livestock as a supposed "natural" part of our own food chain.

Unfortunately, some of our fellow human beings also raise animals simply to enjoy the cruelty we allow them to provide us. Not for survival, not based on instinct, simply for our own enjoyment. Somehow, most "humans" have moved past watching lions chowing down on slaves at the Colliseum...most have moved past slavery & whipping of said slaves...most have moved past "simple" capitalistic slavery...most have moved past the same crap with the animals they share the earth with...but not all.

But what the hell...when nature calls...when evolution devolves...when instincts and the pleasure of the pain of others is what pleasures us...well, what the hell, we're the supreme beings. We're the masters of our universe. We are the highest order of intelligence. So if ya don't like your neighbor, his beast, his spouse or his kid, and you're crafty enough to gain control, chain 'em, beat 'em, drive them to attack each other, punish or kill 'em if they don't satisfy your intelligent, instinctual needs...but please...don't eat 'em. That'd be barbaric. Then again...a Vick barbeque at the tailgate might go down well for some other intelligent beings...or some dogs who have the ability to gain control, start a fire & apply barbeque sauce.

See ya...gotta take the dogs outside...
_________________________
- - - Bob


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#22338 - 07/19/07 12:09 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: stereoman]
Phil Hoskins Offline
Administrator
Bionic Scribe

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 21134
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
A couple of points:

1. Saying man has natural rights grounded in the nature of man is the same as a pronouncement. It is an unsupportable assertion of fact which refers to itself for proof of its veracity. Circular logic at its worst.

2. To have dominion over certainly is not equal to "doing what you want with". A shepherd does have dominion but is charged with caring for and protecting the flock, and if necessary killing one of it for his survival. The notion that the creation is here for our pleasure is so absurd and revolting that to assert it offends the spirit of life itself.
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#22344 - 07/19/07 01:07 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: Phil Hoskins]
stereoman Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/30/04
Posts: 15646
Loc: Asheville, NC
 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Circular logic at its worst.

 Originally Posted By: Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .




 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
The notion that the creation is here for our pleasure is so absurd and revolting that to assert it offends the spirit of life itself.


That's where "modern" (read: Librul) Christians are going in their reassessment of the meaning of "dominion" in the Genesis passage.
_________________________
Steve
Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love,
to respect and be kind to one another,
so that we may grow with peace in mind.

(Native American prayer)


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#22352 - 07/19/07 05:11 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: stereoman]
BoogieMan Offline
journeyman

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 587
Loc: Miss'ippi
There seems to be a new ongoing 'debate' going on in the web world now over the recent Michael Vick topic by those who espouse libertarian beliefs. I am not accusing anyone here of this, but I do notice a similar line of thought with this thread as I have seen elsewhere.

From what I gather, libertarians believe people should be able to do whatever they wish with animals, as they consider them their property, and the government laws reguarding animal abuse, are unjust and cross the lines of their libertarian ways of thinking.

I think this particular subject is one that would be better left alone, if it were a libertarian cause, as it is one that seems to cross barriers with all people that feel deeply towards the treatment of animals, especially those that would be pets.

I do not view animals' rights as important in this debate, as I do the responsibility we as human beings have with reguards to how we treat said animals with respect.

If I am off base on where this subject is going or coming from, then please excuse the interruption and carry on the topic as you were.

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#22353 - 07/19/07 05:37 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: Almost Naomi]
issodhos Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 12581

Special note should be made of Murray Rothbard's first sentence in this chapter. He is specifically speaking of the idea of extending to animals the full Rights of humans. I think to determine if animals can have such Rights, Rights themselves must be examined.

Using the words or the Declaration of Independence that recognizes and references pre-existing natural Rights, can we say, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all lions are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--" and have it hold meaning?. When we read that all lions are created equal, this means that all lions are born with the same Rights as all other lions -- neither more nor less.

I would postulate that for individual lions to have Rights, lions as a whole must know that each lion has the Right to life. Lions as a whole must recognize that if they infringe upon the Right to life of another non-aggressor lion (by killing it for example), they could be held accountable by other lions for having done so. Is there any evidence that lions hold each other accountable for killing other non-aggressor lions? Not that I know of. Do lions aggress against and kill other non-aggressor lions? According to researchers, male lions will kill the cubs of other male lions, so yes, they do. In doing so are they held accountable by other lions? No, because it is the nature of a male lion to kill the cubs of other male lions. I would suggest that because a lion cannot recognize the Rights of other lions, neither it nor any other lion can have Rights as expressed and recognized by a human for other humans.

The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person. Without this natural Right, man would exist in one of two states -- ownerless or as the property of another. The same is true of animals. Does an animal have self-ownership? No. And again, it is because animals in general, like the lion, do not and cannot recognize the Right of self-ownership in other animals of their kind. What does this mean for the animal? If it is a domestic animal it is the property of its human owner. If it is a wild animal, it is ownerless until it is caught or killed by a human, at which time it becomes the property of that person. And what if it is killed by another animal? Does it become the property of that animal? No. It can at most be a possession of that animal unless another animal comes along and takes possession. The one animal does not and cannot recognize the Right of the other to ownership.

So, what does the inability to recognize and have natural Rights mean for animals? Are they nothing more than property, to be treated as such, and to be used and disposed of in any way the owner so chooses, or is there something aside from natural Rights governs Man and his relationship to animals? Something that has a more solid basis than mere human emotion? Something that cannot change on a whim. I know there are spiritual, religeous, even metaphysical concepts concerning Man's relationship to animals, but is there some rational concept evidenced in nature that would form the basis of a more objective and humane relationship between Man and animal? Something that carries the profundity of Man's Rights but from its nature, serves the lesser animals? That is the second half of the issue of Animal Rights that was left and is usually left unexamined when it is concluded that animals do not have the Rights Man does.
Yours,
Issodhos
_________________________
"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos

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#22364 - 07/19/07 10:31 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: issodhos]
pdx rick Offline
Member
CHB-OG

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 42985
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Do animals have the "right" not to be mistreated? I think so!!

Kitten Fights for Life; Girls Charged

 Quote:
A 3-month-old cat is clinging to life at a Sonoma County animal hospital after having been set on fire by two teenage girls who now face charges of animal cruelty.


The kitten, named Adam by hospital staff, has undergone two surgeries and had its tail and the tips of its ears amputated. The skin on its back was burned off in the attack, leaving nothing but raw tissue.


"The degree of injury is greater than our normal level of trauma that we care for," said Katheryn Hinkle, the head veterinarian and owner of the Animal Hospital of Cotati. "He's our most critical patient, and we're watching him constantly."


The cat, one of several feral felines trapped for spaying and neutering, was in a cage outside an apartment in Santa Rosa when two 15-year-old girls allegedly poured flammable liquid on the animal and set it on fire last month.


An 11-year-old boy and his friend saw the smoke and heard the cat, then eight weeks old, shrieking while the girls laughed. The girls, whose names have not been released, were charged with cruelty to animals in Sonoma County Juvenile Court last week.


With so much exposed skin, the cat is vulnerable to infection, Hinkle said. It cannot leave its cage and must be handled only with gloves. It will need several more surgeries to cover the wound on its back with skin.
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#22367 - 07/19/07 10:42 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: issodhos]
Mellowicious Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 9624
Loc: flyover country
 Originally Posted By: issodhos

I think to determine if animals can have such Rights, Rights themselves must be examined.

Using the words or the Declaration of Independence that recognizes and references pre-existing natural Rights, can we say, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all lions are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--" and have it hold meaning?. When we read that all lions are created equal, this means that all lions are born with the same Rights as all other lions -- neither more nor less.


Issodhos, even though I really hate parsing any of our founding documents, I disagree with your reading here. I'm not good at naming parts of sentences but the commas here, I believe, are used to indicate independent thoughts, as in:
 Quote:
We hold these truths to be self evident -
  • that all lions are created equal
  • that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
  • that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--"


Governments may or may not be instituted among lions, but if they were, their purpose would be to secure these rights - not to grant them.
 Quote:
I would postulate that for individual lions to have Rights, lions as a whole must know that each lion has the Right to life.

Once they figure it out, perhaps they will explain it to the House and Senate.

There are similar problems throughout, but I'll take exception to one in particular:
 Quote:
The fundamental natural Right of Man is self-ownership -- the ownership of one's person.


Clearly the original document did not include women; nor did it include men of color. Only later was that natural Right Recognized.

Were I a lion, I might say that it's simply a natural step to recognize my people. Your arguments on this one are a direct parallel to those used against the non-white and the female. They worked - for awhile - in those situations; as a rhetorical device , I think perhaps their time is over.
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Julia
Long time passing

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#22371 - 07/19/07 11:17 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: issodhos]
Greger Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 16957
Loc: Florida
If the above mentioned male lion should get caught trying to kill a female lions cubs I'm guessing he would find himself in some serious trouble. There would be no investigation nor reports to the lion police, she would simply chew his balls off and spit them in his face.
As Issodos guides us through this dilemma I begin to question whether man has any inherent rights above and beyond that of the animals. He has language so that he may claim these rights, he has opposable thumbs so that an otherwise soft and easily eaten species can make weapons from whatever is at hand. He has superior intelligence and created civilisation so that bands of humans could find reason to kill other bands of humans, or not, depending on the whims of the chosen leaders.
Self ownership is simply a claim, all the beasts of the forests would make the same claim if they had the language to do so. Domesticated beasts might say that you can keep me and feed me and eat me as long as you continue my bloodline but ownership is in your mind.
And thus I come, perhaps, to the profundity you seek. The Mind of Man. That great collective vessel, capable of learning, changing, creating and adapting. It may have been divine intervention, it may have been an evolutionary mistake. Animals are mostly hard wired, they are born knowing most everything they will need to get along in a natural world. When humans are born they are a blank slate and must feed continuously from the tree of knowledge. This sets us apart and it sets us above (for now) all the other beasts. It gives man and man alone the ability to look at a situation and determine whether it is right or wrong. Squishing a fly to protect food from contamination is right. Pulling the wings off a fly just to see it strugggle is wrong. This lowly example sets the stage for mans ethical treatment of other species.
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Good coffee, good weed, and time on my hands...

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#22372 - 07/19/07 11:58 AM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: Greger]
stereoman Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/30/04
Posts: 15646
Loc: Asheville, NC
 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Special note should be made of Murray Rothbard's first sentence in this chapter. He is specifically speaking of the idea of extending to animals the full Rights of humans.


That's exactly right. So how do we go from "the same rights" to "no rights at all" without pausing in between?

Your lion example demonstrates the same anthropocentric viewpoint as the author is stuck in. Why assume that lions want to be happy? Why not argue the self-evident truth that all lions are endowed by their Creator with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of prey?

Why change the debate to whether lions should respect each others' rights? Isn't the question whether humans should respect their rights? It matters not a whit whether lions are capable of cognitive decision-making processes because we are not intent upon making laws that regulate the behavior of lions, we are instead concerned with the behavior of humans. So it makes no difference if the lion is aware of being mistreated by humans, or how the lion may or may not "feel" about that.

 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Does an animal have self-ownership? No.


You've obviously never been owned by a cat.

Seriously though, how can you be so unequivocal? I can think of all kinds of examples of animals exhibiting self-ownership: independence, shyness, defense of family and territory . . . and again, even with the assumption of self-ownership as a human right, how does that address the question of whether the right arises from cognitive reasoning or natural endowment? I maintain that the right existed all along, even before any person began to examine or rationalize it, long before it was canonized by Founding Documents, humans had just as much right to self ownership when the Chosen People were enslaved by the Pharoahs as they did when the Negro Slaves were freed by the President.

 Originally Posted By: Greger
Self ownership is simply a claim, all the beasts of the forests would make the same claim if they had the language to do so.


Well said.

Returning again to the Straw Man in Rothbard's opening sentence: I don't see where anyone is arguing that animals should have the same rights as humans. I think it's very much worthwhile to examine what rights animals ought to have, and whether - since humans are animals and clearly we agree that they should and do enjoy rights that other animals do not - some other animals ought to have rights that lesser animals don't.

In such an examination, it seems to me, a deep understanding of the nature of animals is essential, as well as of ecology. Rothbard demonstrates a woeful lack of both.
_________________________
Steve
Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love,
to respect and be kind to one another,
so that we may grow with peace in mind.

(Native American prayer)


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#22383 - 07/19/07 02:05 PM Re: THE “RIGHTS” OF ANIMALS [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3880
Loc: Eugene, OR
The following is from a former congressman from Oregon, Jim Weaver. I think it explains a lot about power, empathy—even the desire to eat meat and give animals “rights”. I used the quote from Genesis previously as a text some people use to justify opposition to birth control, excessive logging of forests, over fishing, and cruelty to animals. But if one searches hard enough, one can usually find a phrase in any religious text to justify ones own preexisting predilections.

Jim Weaver is a great human being, lives in Eugene, and is retired from politics. He has written a book several years ago, Two Kinds: The Genetic Origin of Conservatives and Liberals.

His theory is that all people are genetically inclined to become either hawks or doves — conservatives or liberals, ethnocentrics or empathics, Republicans or Democrats — and it's a matter of random selection rather than hereditary. Identical twins are invariably similar in their politics and attitudes, but other siblings are often opposites.

Doves have, to one degree or another, the power of abstraction and a heightened sense of imagination. The mind of a hawk tends to be egocentric and ethnocentric and less imaginative," he writes in his book. "I do not mean to imply that doves are more intelligent than hawks. Both are capable of reasoning. They simply view things differently."

Doves are revolutionaries, he writes, standing up against tyranny, but "Hawks want power, and they have the innate aggressive urges that help them achieve power. Sensitive, empathic doves are less likely to fight their way into positions of power. People in positions of authority are thus far more likely to be unempathic, ethnocrentric hawks.

"Polls taken throughout the Vietnam war showed that the American people were roughly divided between hawks and doves, with a slight bias to the hawks. The extreme hawks and doves were each exactly 25 percent of the population, and their minds never changed."

Weaver goes on in his book to describe the many variations and combinations that make up the middle 50 percent of the population, including "stinging doves" who will fight back fiercely if attacked, and "chicken hawks" who will back down if their attacks are challenged.

He says his theory explains a lot about human nature, such as why tyrants can always find murderers and torturers to do their dirty work, why some people naturally support the environment and social services, why liberals are always squabbling among themselves, and even why some people succeed in business. Give it a read if you care, I think it is still in print.
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