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Old 04-07-2009, 06:34 AM
John John is a male Canada John is offline
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Re: Dog dies horrific death - continuation of discussion

Originally Posted by Asta View Post, suppose I have some machine that measures accurately how much "intelligence" a being has. Suppose one creature has one point extra in the intelligence department than another creature (ie. analogous to having an IQ of 110 as opposed to 109). So does that mean it then has one more "point" in terms of its capacity to feel pain? I'm sorry, but I don't buy that.
Where did I say that?

I mentioned Sentience and Sapience. I didn't mention IQ.

And, right now, we do give less intelligent people fewer rights than "intelligent" ones. If you've got certain mental disorders you end up in a mental asylum, after all.

Also, just to back me up:


Some investigators claim that a sharp cut off line exists between those animals who experience pain and suffering, from those who do not. These arguments are based on the assumption that the capacity to suffer is related to the size and complexity of the brain, i.e., small brained animals feel less pain and potentially suffer less than animals with larger more complex brains. This paper refutes these claims and explains the concept that all hierarchical levels of the nervous system are built according to the same functional principles. The ability of an animal to suffer from pain may be related to the amount of associative neural circuitry linking sub-cortical structures to higher levels of the nervous system. A reasonable criteria for assessing pain induced suffering is does the animal actively seek pain relief. We propose that animals who protect injured parts, reduce activity when sick, or self administer opiate and non-opiate drugs are capable of suffering from pain. Some investigators claim that many mammals are in a “gray area” when it comes to suffering from pain. We propose that only fish, amphibians and reptiles may represent the “gray area” of understanding, pain, but they may suffer from fear because they will avoid a place where an aversive event has taken place.
None of which I disagree with, but none of which refutes my point, either.

If I see a spider in the house, I don't just kill it actually. I actually put a plastic cup over it, slide some paper beneath it, carry it outside and set it down away from the house. If I see a fly, I open the door or window until it flies outside. I never cause harm or kill something intentionally without need.
I do the same thing with spiders, but what of wasps? What of deerflies? Horseflies?

We may be working to fix things (well, by "we", I really mean a small portion of the human population), but I don't know if the damage that we've already done can actually be repaired by us. Please note that I'm not saying that we all deserve to die, but I'm just using this as an example to further make the point that proclaiming intelligence to be the main factor in assessing what something's life is worth is indeed arbitrary, since there are negatives associated with intelligence as well as positives.
I disagree.

If humans were just a bit "dumber" then we wouldn't be trying to fix things at all.

There are issues with not having enough intelligence. Not with having too much.

What I do protest strongly against is this anthropocentric view that Homo sapiens is superior to the millions of other life forms on this planet, and more worthy of life. I think that the comparison that sea made between the human and the dog is perfectly valid. I also feel offended by comments such as “The fact of the matter is that a human life is more important than an animal's life”.)
Human life is more important.

An average human will, in their life, do far more than an animal. Will advance our understanding of the universe far more, will make life better in some way more than an animal will.

Now, I do feel that pretty much all mammals should be protected against being treated cruelly (probably most birds, reptiles, and moderately intelligent sea creatures, too) and that the really intelligent animals (Primates, Dolphins, Whales, Elephants, etc.) should be protected against being killed, even humanely.

(Just as a final word, can you please stop putting words in my mouth? It feels like you're arguing against a fictional hippie just for the convenience of using a prepared argument.)
Not my goal, but I'm rather walking into the middle of this and am trying to figure out people's positions based on their posts here.

The "Don't eat meat" argument seems to follow naturally from your other ones, but I apologize for assuming that you'd endorse that stance.
...Those who defy it, glory!

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Last Edited by John; 04-07-2009 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Reply With Quote