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Forum Activity by theVictorian

Zuben
Law =/= ethics. The question isn't what action should be legal, but what action is morally defensible. The overlap between those things isn't merely cosmetic, but they are not interchangeable.

I didn't say they were the same thing, but ideally all laws are ethical, no? I was mostly speaking of "law" as social standards.

My point is that I view humans as causal automatons with delusions of moral agency. We keep up the pretence of free will because it's the only way we can operate day-to-day with our limited knowledge, carefully rescinding the responsibility when someone falls outside our norms due to a brain tumour or whatever. The reality is that none of us are more or less responsible for our fates, but it's in our interests to agree on certain thresholds to keep society functioning in a way that pleases most of us.

We're making all this shit up to suit our needs and elevate ourselves from the chaos of nature as we blunder along, and I don't see animals as part of the process except in their emotional utility to us. Which is not inconsiderable. Yes, animals are (proportionally) as innately moral as us, as emotional, as intelligent etc, but we have no rational discourse with them. The line is as arbitrary as any other, but we are arbitrary beings and so I'm drawing the line at "species" because I think it's wise.

And it's not that I don't love animals, nor am I unmoved by a dog's loyalty or caring instincts. Love and loyalty are powerful, important animal impulses, but if that's how you want to run morality across species lines you'll be drowning in the muck pretty quickly.
Jun 8, 2017 5:00 AM
Zuben
theVictorian
Zuben
theVictorian
Zuben
theVictorian
NimChimpsky
theVictorianNo, because then you are likewise obligated to kill every meat farmer.


That's one reason why it's a tricky one, but not a great one. We have laws that both forbid animal cruelty and permit hunting. Is that hypocrisy? I don't think so; at the very least, it reflects average ethical intuition. Which might be wrong, or illogical, but I think a little deeper analysis is required to make that point.

I'm a speciesist in that I don't think animal lives are morally important, although I freely admit I am really quite sentimental about animals due to anthropomorphism. Animal cruelty is always unnecessary, and I think it reflects poorly on the perpetrator - as in the perp is very likely not fit for society - and I think laws around it are about human decency more than ethics.

Would I shoot someone to save hundreds of dogs? Maybe. I think I'd actually be more likely shoot someone to save one dog from cruelty in a heated situation. When animals are in large numbers the cuteness disappears for me.

Anthropomorphism isn't required to feel sympathy/empathy with animals, or even have a genuine, and quite real, emotional relationship with them. My dog loves me, and while I don't know what that love feels like to him, I also don't know what love feels like to you, or anybody that isn't me. The philosophical stance that animal's lives are morally insignificant was largely founded upon the notion that they are automatons. There is no real reason to believe this, and lot of proof (increasingly so) that many of them are self-aware in ways that we normally attach to being morally relevant.

I don't disagree, but that's not really my stance. My stance is that there is no moral reciprocity in any meaningful way. Would you prosecute an animal for a crime?

In so far as holding them accountable in a court of law, no. For one, being subject to the law means being a rational agent with accountability and a concept of the law. So in that sense, I wouldn't consider someone who is mentally ill responsible for murder. That doesn't does mean I'm okay with that person being murdered. As for being accountable for their actions, I hold my dog accountable for his actions every day and he knows when he's done something that warrants being in trouble. He knows it's wrong, for instance, to bite someone. I follow your argument so far as it's hard to stay mad at him because of his shnuggy little face that I just want to smoosh though. Oh he needs so many hugs!

Fun fact: In medieval England, animals were subject to the law and were tried and even publicly executed for crimes. Less fun fact: this prosecution did not equate to any higher moral importance.

Sure, but the reason we have extenuating conditions for faulty humans is self-interest, not utility.

If we're to attach any importance to animals morally due to cogitative power, then we really should be prioritising corvids and parrots, but for environmental reasons sometimes you still have to gas a hundred thousand sulphur-crested cockatoos. All this shit flies right the fuck apart in the face of the reality of the necessity for pest control.

I can't even tell what your argument is anymore.

I view morality as a set of limits contrived to satisfy - and protect us from - our species' impulses. Most of us are innately moral because we have social impulses. We use law (codified morality) to either judge instances of complicated failure or to act as a deterrent to people with less active social impulses.

Animals do not fit into this world view. Faulty people don't either, but for reasons of self interest we extend them the courtesies of functional people so it's not our neck on the block when our own brains fail.

Don't think I don't value compassion, but I view compassion as a luxury.
Jun 8, 2017 4:17 AM
Anyway, the answer is Hermione Granger.
Jun 8, 2017 4:04 AM
Zuben
theVictorian
Zuben
theVictorian
NimChimpsky
theVictorianNo, because then you are likewise obligated to kill every meat farmer.


That's one reason why it's a tricky one, but not a great one. We have laws that both forbid animal cruelty and permit hunting. Is that hypocrisy? I don't think so; at the very least, it reflects average ethical intuition. Which might be wrong, or illogical, but I think a little deeper analysis is required to make that point.

I'm a speciesist in that I don't think animal lives are morally important, although I freely admit I am really quite sentimental about animals due to anthropomorphism. Animal cruelty is always unnecessary, and I think it reflects poorly on the perpetrator - as in the perp is very likely not fit for society - and I think laws around it are about human decency more than ethics.

Would I shoot someone to save hundreds of dogs? Maybe. I think I'd actually be more likely shoot someone to save one dog from cruelty in a heated situation. When animals are in large numbers the cuteness disappears for me.

Anthropomorphism isn't required to feel sympathy/empathy with animals, or even have a genuine, and quite real, emotional relationship with them. My dog loves me, and while I don't know what that love feels like to him, I also don't know what love feels like to you, or anybody that isn't me. The philosophical stance that animal's lives are morally insignificant was largely founded upon the notion that they are automatons. There is no real reason to believe this, and lot of proof (increasingly so) that many of them are self-aware in ways that we normally attach to being morally relevant.

I don't disagree, but that's not really my stance. My stance is that there is no moral reciprocity in any meaningful way. Would you prosecute an animal for a crime?

In so far as holding them accountable in a court of law, no. For one, being subject to the law means being a rational agent with accountability and a concept of the law. So in that sense, I wouldn't consider someone who is mentally ill responsible for murder. That doesn't does mean I'm okay with that person being murdered. As for being accountable for their actions, I hold my dog accountable for his actions every day and he knows when he's done something that warrants being in trouble. He knows it's wrong, for instance, to bite someone. I follow your argument so far as it's hard to stay mad at him because of his shnuggy little face that I just want to smoosh though. Oh he needs so many hugs!

Fun fact: In medieval England, animals were subject to the law and were tried and even publicly executed for crimes. Less fun fact: this prosecution did not equate to any higher moral importance.

Sure, but the reason we have extenuating conditions for faulty humans is self-interest, not utility.

If we're to attach any importance to animals morally due to cogitative power, then we really should be prioritising corvids and parrots, but for environmental reasons sometimes you still have to gas a hundred thousand sulphur-crested cockatoos. All this shit flies right the fuck apart in the face of the reality of the necessity for pest control.
Jun 8, 2017 3:42 AM
Esoteric Allusion... that doesn't mean I think it is moral to shoot someone with a sniper rifle to prevent them from double parking.

Waaada pussy.
Jun 8, 2017 3:25 AM
Zuben
theVictorian
NimChimpsky
theVictorianNo, because then you are likewise obligated to kill every meat farmer.


That's one reason why it's a tricky one, but not a great one. We have laws that both forbid animal cruelty and permit hunting. Is that hypocrisy? I don't think so; at the very least, it reflects average ethical intuition. Which might be wrong, or illogical, but I think a little deeper analysis is required to make that point.

I'm a speciesist in that I don't think animal lives are morally important, although I freely admit I am really quite sentimental about animals due to anthropomorphism. Animal cruelty is always unnecessary, and I think it reflects poorly on the perpetrator - as in the perp is very likely not fit for society - and I think laws around it are about human decency more than ethics.

Would I shoot someone to save hundreds of dogs? Maybe. I think I'd actually be more likely shoot someone to save one dog from cruelty in a heated situation. When animals are in large numbers the cuteness disappears for me.

Anthropomorphism isn't required to feel sympathy/empathy with animals, or even have a genuine, and quite real, emotional relationship with them. My dog loves me, and while I don't know what that love feels like to him, I also don't know what love feels like to you, or anybody that isn't me. The philosophical stance that animal's lives are morally insignificant was largely founded upon the notion that they are automatons. There is no real reason to believe this, and lot of proof (increasingly so) that many of them are self-aware in ways that we normally attach to being morally relevant.

I don't disagree, but that's not really my stance. My stance is that there is no moral reciprocity in any meaningful way. Would you prosecute an animal for a crime?
Jun 8, 2017 3:17 AM
Paquito
theVictorian When animals are in large numbers the cuteness disappears for me.

[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CK9cuc5WgAAAYXm.jpg[/img]

Still fine, but heading towards "plague" territory.
Jun 8, 2017 1:25 AM
NimChimpsky
theVictorianNo, because then you are likewise obligated to kill every meat farmer.


That's one reason why it's a tricky one, but not a great one. We have laws that both forbid animal cruelty and permit hunting. Is that hypocrisy? I don't think so; at the very least, it reflects average ethical intuition. Which might be wrong, or illogical, but I think a little deeper analysis is required to make that point.

I'm a speciesist in that I don't think animal lives are morally important, although I freely admit I am really quite sentimental about animals due to anthropomorphism. Animal cruelty is always unnecessary, and I think it reflects poorly on the perpetrator - as in the perp is very likely not fit for society - and I think laws around it are about human decency more than ethics.

Would I shoot someone to save hundreds of dogs? Maybe. I think I'd actually be more likely shoot someone to save one dog from cruelty in a heated situation. When animals are in large numbers the cuteness disappears for me.
Jun 8, 2017 12:58 AM
No, because then you are likewise obligated to kill every meat farmer.
Jun 7, 2017 11:38 PM
"Badass" like stone cold action hero or "badass" like showing those mean rich preppie girls what's what with a makeover?
Jun 7, 2017 6:25 AM
Watched Bottle Rocket, which was genuinely charming and fun. I liked seeing the Anderson style in such a larval form. I didn't realise it was the debut of the Wilson brothers.

Also watched Songs from the Second Floor which is legitimately amazing and possibly one of my favourite movies ever now. It's a series of blackly funny vignettes that creates an overarching narrative about an impending apocalypse, aIl featuring grotesque people in a hilariously bleak, grey, Beckettian, Gilliam-esque pseudoworld. It's not for everyone and for some it might be genuinely torturous, but I had a really dark laugh at it. It reminds me of old Giles cartoons, with tiny, lumpen people in heartless, overwhelming scenery. I have the Roy Anderson box so I'll be watching You, the Living and? A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Comtemplating Existence directly. Awesome stuff. TERRIBLE Blu-ray, though.
Jun 4, 2017 2:32 AM
kgaardA Serious Man(2009) ?It's a super Jewish film, like Fiddler on the Roof is all, hey, take it easy with the Jewishness, nu? Anyhow, I enjoyed it immensely, and it probably helped a lot that as an adult convert to Judaism I was free of the emotional baggage of a childhood steeped in the tradition on display yet fully understood the context. It was weirdly pleasant to hear parts of the Shabbat services, like Adon Olam, on film. Anyway, so, you have questions? Well, there are no answers, you see.

It might be their best film.


kgaard..as an adult convert to Judaism...

Wife?
Jun 2, 2017 8:43 AM
wirthling
Hey, look at me, I live in a bubble of privilege but I'm uncomfortable about it. Ooh, I'm a fucking saint.

Pretty much the content of my facebook newsfeed if I don't prune it regularly.
Jun 1, 2017 12:05 PM
ejHere's all I have to add:

It took me several years after it was released to actually listen to it. There was a period in my wife when I was severely depressed and cut off from pretty much everything, pop culture, music, included. I bought it blindly, based just on the hype. I fully expected it to be the kind of thing that would grow on me, as most of my favorite albums had required some nestling into, and I wasn't that big of a Radiohead fan, anyway. I popped it into the CD player in my car and just drove around for a while. It didn't take any getting used to at all. After it was over, I was like Fuuuuuuuck, and hit replay immediately.

Yeah, it was one of the first albums to remind me of the best Pink Floyd albums in terms of immediate engagement in years.
Jun 1, 2017 11:18 AM
The weird thing about that album for me is that it's the moment when the '90s ended and the current era began. I don't feel like the '00s were a decade distinct from the 'teens that are now nearly over.
Jun 1, 2017 9:00 AM
Esoteric AllusionThe fact that Afghanistan is (correctly) perceived as war-torn probably plays a role in coverage too. If it's expected, it's not as big of news. if the same event occurred in Tokyo, the coverage would be a lot bigger even though non-whites would be the victims. Part of it would be that Americans identify with Japanese easier because of cultural ties, but a bigger part would be the shock of it happening in a place where it isn't expected to happen.

Exactly.
Jun 1, 2017 2:08 AM
Ivan the Terrible
theVictorianI'm glad that we've all had a moment to grandstand about media bias in our own countries on a nice warm pile of foreign corpses.

I don't even think it's a matter of media bias. The media is merely responding to an already existing phenomenon: we tend to care more about people dying when they're 'like us', and particularly when they're killed in a place where you wouldn't expect such a thing to happen, like a concert in Manchester or Paris, as opposed to the capital of a war-torn third world country infested with Islamic extremists.

I've always wondered what it must have been like for officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to offer condolences and sorrow over the 9/11 attacks and its roughly 3,000 casualties, knowing most Americans wouldn't have even been able to say there was a war going on in the DRC at the time or how many hundreds of thousands or millions of casualties it had caused.

Of course local (Western world) events will always trump "foreign" stories. Of course it's unfortunate but it's hardly surprising given how our minds work. We (wrongly) see "foreign" events as less important because they don't affect us in the same way events in a familiar place do. I mean, how many people even know that the biggest armed conflict after the world wars was the Congo? There are reasons for it. Is there a narrative that's easy to understand? It's a sad reality, yes, but it's completely what you should expect from human beings' "monkeysphere" nature. There's also something atypical about a massive killing in the West that isn't in the developing world. Frankly, when foreign deaths starting getting large media coverage I worry we're about to intervene again. That always goes well.
Jun 1, 2017 2:08 AM
Rooby Roo
WirthlingMy inner 12-year-old child thinks Doctor Strange was the greatest movie EVAR and my inner 20-year-old stoner agrees. I'm such a sucker for modern CGI eye candy. Throw in Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Cumberbatch on top of those visuals and I am pretty much incapable of not liking it.

It would be so fantastic to witness a scene in which Tony Stark, Stephen Strange, Thor, Drax the Destroyer, Natasha Romanov, Scott Lang and other notable personalities sat down at a table together. Such a glorious garbage pizza the MCU is rolling together. I hope they can at least reel Whedon back into the fold for a scene like that.

Nah, Whedon just writes every character as the same sarcastic teenage arsehole.
Jun 1, 2017 1:02 AM
neumdaddy
theVictorian
Infinitus Corsair
theVictorianJohn Wick 2 is great. I liked the increased world-building all the sly humour. The sneaky pot-shotting in the subway made me laugh hard. My friend hadn't seen the first and she loved it. The fight in the hall of mirrors is one of the most mesmerisingly shot pieces of cinema, let alone action cinema in years.

I seem to be in the minority but I felt the opposite about the world-building. In a movie that is already doing so many ridiculous, over-the-top things, less was more in that regard imo.

Eh, I felt most of the world-building was in generalities. I think Wick's killing needs its targets built up to stay interesting, so this is the right way to go.

Agreed w/ theVic. I generally agree with "less is more," and I don't think the world-building in JW2 was too much at all. Felt neatly blended in with the amazing action. Honestly, the movie gets better the more I think about it.

It's amazing how despite the absurd body count, every death feels violent as hell.
Jun 1, 2017 12:43 AM
wirthlingMy inner 12-year-old child thinks Doctor Strange was the greatest movie EVAR and my inner 20-year-old stoner agrees. I'm such a sucker for modern CGI eye candy. Throw in Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Cumberbatch on top of those visuals and I am pretty much incapable of not liking it.

My outer 49-year-old tired stoner thought it moved too quickly and didn't quite understand what Dormammu (?) was all about, partially because I couldn't hear all of the dialogue.

This was a fun movie, and yes, the effects were - even at this point - pretty breathtaking.
Jun 1, 2017 12:25 AM