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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Bev Bergeron article in Linking Ring defending Ringling Bros. Animal Abuse (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jan 17, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
...
There is a third kind of ignorance. Blind loyalty to an agenda. Want to guess who suffers from that?


https://www.tor.com/2018/01/17/star-wars......-people/

Every now and then someone argues by example without getting called subversive. We'll see if this time around it's got more traction.

Ethical life in this city and life among others not of this city has been a problem we've lived with since the words metropolitan and cosmopolitan ... see Jonathan Swift's story for what happens when a guy goes native in a city of horses. It's all about the Yahoos. Smile
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Melies
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My point about dogs being blowtorched--which, by the way, they have been, legally, in our society: I myself have seen photographs of beagles blowtorched in burn experiments conducted by scientists (and those are not the worst forms of torture nonhumans are subjected to in labs, legally)--was that you presumably think that's *wrong* to do. If you think it's wrong, then you do seem to believe that animals should have some rights, like the right not to be blowtorched. As for existing legal protections for nonhumans, they are virtually meaningless--as I have said. In any event, what you don't seem to get, still, is that normative ethics is about how we should act--not about how we do.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jan 19, 2018, Melies wrote:
... normative ethics is about how we should act--not about how we do.

Agreed. It's a social dialog. That golden rule about not doing unto others does not seem to be pulling its weight. At a guess, the notion of "agency" is acting as more persuasive than the notion of "intrinsic rights". There's also what looks like resentment about "rules" and bureaucracy as signposts of entrenched social violence.
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Jonathan Townsend
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I'm not going to discuss animal harm porn or studies like this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26450656

Maybe we have a difference in perception about whether ethos is magically prescriptive (nobody can B because they are a good S) or operationally consequential (most folks don't want to B for fear of punishment in the land of S). Norm of what group where? Subject to variation over what range of gain/loss? Language serves who?

I suggest there's value in asking someone to describe that scene quoted in an earlier post from the movie 2001, as a fair empathy indicator. (start instruments) And by the way I have yet to read of someone complaining that they imagined HAL9000 was a person elsewhere in the ship who needs to use a speech synthesizer. It's okay to scoff - blame the unreliable narrator - or the last episode of MASH... any safety valve you want is fine. And 5,4,3,2,1 (end recording)
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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Jan 19, 2018, Melies wrote:
My point about dogs being blowtorched--which, by the way, they have been, legally, in our society: I myself have seen photographs of beagles blowtorched in burn experiments conducted by scientists (and those are not the worst forms of torture nonhumans are subjected to in labs, legally)--was that you presumably think that's *wrong* to do. If you think it's wrong, then you do seem to believe that animals should have some rights, like the right not to be blowtorched. As for existing legal protections for nonhumans, they are virtually meaningless--as I have said. In any event, what you don't seem to get, still, is that normative ethics is about how we should act--not about how we do.


And what you don't get is animals are not humans. Get over it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jonathan Townsend
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I get the feeling Melies is arguing for something closer to:
What validates our social self-respect as humans should include an aversion to doing callous harm to even the lowest of others.

Saying "they're not human..." puts us on that slippery slope of "they're poor", "they're not white European freemen", "they're homosexual", "they're heathens"..."they're only computer programs"... they, they, they... Smile

I don't like to apply the notion of "right" as it's not a commutative property - we don't expect the dog should not bite us or the cat not to chase the mouse... especially because we bestow upon the dog, mouse and cat a right not to get bitten or chased by us.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Theory question - is there an understood precondition of a thing existing to discussion of a thing having the quality of being "good"?
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Jonathan Townsend
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Magic has pretty much turned away from animal abuse. Look back to the guy who invented the vanishing bird cage - rather than the movie version with dead canaries and a wind up contraption. http://www.themagicdetective.com/2011/02......ory.html
A couple of items from our prestige journal might help make the case. Genii Magazine August 1976 page 512 and the ad on page 312 May 1978 for a real Smile. We've gone so far as to turn away from the guy who wanted to show a trick with involves pushing a goldfish into position as a way of revealing a selected card. Not even a goldfish. We're doing fine IMHO. No cause to annoy an elderly magician who reminisces about some acts he saw long ago. And no reason to complain about a circus which had already toured its last. That looks like kicking a man when he's down and beating a dead horse. Let's build something better.

Animal farming - animal research... if our economy keeps moving we'll likely move beyond in this or the next generation. But the norm for what's useful and interesting has moved beyond casual disregard for animals early last century. We have "comfort animals" on airplane issues now. Of course I noticed the cringeworthy echo of last century in that phrase. As with homeland security the past never entirely goes away but the norm for what's useful and interesting keeps moving. No droid rights movement yet - folks still enjoy watching Star Wars... but we're moving. Even on that front we've had Westworld, Blade Runner, Chappie... it's gaining traction.

In the large of our culture those who are looking for avenues to explore have moved very far from thoughts about dumb animals and have gone to wonder about uploaded nerve connectomes becoming sapient, see Stross's story Lobsters for example. http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-sta......Lobsters The lobsters have a future. We've done pretty well in choosing to respect the life of a canary two centuries ago to recent ponderings about when we need to give Siri civil rights.

Here's a few lines from the Stross story in novel form :
Quote:
"The lobsters are sentient," Manfred persists. "What about those poor kittens? Don't they deserve minimal rights? How about you? How would you like to wake up a thousand times inside a smart bomb, fooled into thinking that some Cheyenne Mountain battle computer's target of the hour is your heart's desire? How would you like to wake up a thousand times, only to die again? Worse: The kittens are probably not going to be allowed to run. They're too ****ing dangerous – they grow up into cats, solitary and highly efficient killing machines. With intelligence and no socialization they'll be too dangerous to have around. They're prisoners, Pam, raised to sentience only to discover they're under a permanent death sentence. How fair is that?"

"But they're only uploads." Pamela stares at him. "Software, right? You could reinstantiate them on another hardware platform, like, say, your Aineko. So the argument about killing them doesn't really apply, does it?"

"So? We're going to be uploading humans in a couple of years. I think we need to take a rain check on the utilitarian philosophy, before it bites us on the cerebral cortex. Lobsters, kittens, humans -- it's a slippery slope."

Franklin clears his throat. "I'll be needing an NDA and various due-diligence statements off you for the crusty pilot idea," he says to Manfred. "Then I'll have to approach Jim about buying the IP."

"No can do." Manfred leans back and smiles lazily. "I'm not going to be a party to depriving them of their civil rights. Far as I'm concerned, they're free citizens..."
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Bev Bergeron article in Linking Ring defending Ringling Bros. Animal Abuse (15 Likes)
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