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#31785 - 11/16/09 06:33 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Room 101]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Just to jump in on this with a brief point--

After giving some consideration to the arguments everyone's made thus far, I've come to the conclusion that the only reason that the concept of "morality" is applied to eating meat, is that we tend to project our own humanity onto damn near EVERYTHING nowadays. Plants feel and like music. Your cat has an asshole personality and pisses on your couch out of revenge for being left alone. That little calf looks soooo adorable nuzzling his mum!!!

I think that would explain why the militant Vegans act the way they do, because they're projecting the "Awwww!" factor onto their food. I think that's also why PETA is so insane, they humanize animals to the point where some are actually APOLOGISTS for their own race.

The only thing I'm apologizing for is this post I've made. I took a Lorcet earlier after coming back from the hospital, so I'm hoping I've been able to convey my opinion in a coherent manner.
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#31796 - 11/16/09 11:34 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Room 101]
CJB Offline
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Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
So this is something I've wondered for a while...not entirely on subject, but still rather pertinent to it, I think. What exactly is the definition of natural? And by extension: unnatural?

You could use "natural" in a mother nature way of thought. You can use it in the sense of contrasting it to "artificial," which is basically a way of saying "anything natural is something that humanity has not touched." Both of those say that mankind is somehow divorced from nature. But why would anything touched by humans be unnatural? Because it's...built? Would a beaver dam then be unnatural? Or is it because we build on what we learned from the past...standing on the shoulders of past thinkers, so to say (which would be opposed to animals' instincts).

Assuming that humans are in fact governed by the laws of nature (which I think would be a good assumption) ...than can anything a human does be considered unnatural?

What is the difference between a person taking cows out of their natural environment, domesticating it, and slaughtering its offspring; and a person cloning a cow or making a roll of meat?

If you say that unnatural is anything going against a vague notion of mother nature as it would be without humans around, than all three of those are unnatural. The only way to be "natural" in that matter would be to run around naked trying to catch wild animals with our hands (...actually, in this case, being a vegetarian might make a lot of sense. Wild strawberries don't fight back.) However, not using our mind as our means of survival through the use of technology would be unnatural for humans, as that is our method of survival, gained through millenia of "natural" evolution.
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~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#31802 - 11/17/09 04:01 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: CJB]
coelentrate Offline
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Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 164
Loc: Dundee, Scotland
From an objective point of view, nothing is unnatural. Everything, inanimate objects included, manipulates its environment to some extent. The human will is a natural, evolved trait. The products of human will are things made of natural materials. The natural materials were combined in ways that exploit the principles of chemistry and physics, which predate humanity. There's no such thing as the unnatural, only the unfamiliar. It's the unfamiliarity that's scaring the shit out of people.

From a subjective point of view... I had something great to say here, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was! I'll post it if it comes back to me.

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#31808 - 11/17/09 06:34 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: coelentrate]
Room 101 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Scotland
I whole heartedly agree the both of the comments above, especially coelentrate’s as I know his expertise lye in the area of Biology.

The fact of the matter is that at some point this might very well be a reality, and the issues discussed here may well be up for public debate.

Coelentrate I wait with baited breath for the thought that was lost, its always interesting to hear from those whose profession lye in the area of discussion.
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#31817 - 11/17/09 10:21 AM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: coelentrate]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Originally Posted By: coelentrate
There's no such thing as the unnatural...


Except for things that, you know, don't occur in nature. Plastics, automobiles, enriched uranium, Boca Burgers. Just a few examples of things that, by definition, are unnatural.
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#31819 - 11/17/09 12:12 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
 Originally Posted By: 6Satan6Archist6

Except for things that, you know, don't occur in nature. Plastics, automobiles, enriched uranium, Boca Burgers. Just a few examples of things that, by definition, are unnatural.


I agree with you on principle here, that these things would be considered unnatural, but what about them makes them unnatural? If you just have to point at something and vaguley say "See that? It's unnatural!" than that leaves a lot up to...well, whim, as to what the definition is. Plastic is made out of oil, which is a natural substance. Automobiles are made out of metal...well, mostly. Sometimes. The composition is beside the point...the point is that everything a car is made from is something taken from nature and refined by humans.

EVERYTHING in your list of unnatural stuff is made from things from nature (which stands to reason, since anything tangible is made from stuff from nature). There is nothing in the definition of Boca burgers that say their creation runs contrary to the laws of how the universe works.

If a car is unnatural, so is a bike. If a bike is unnatural, so are running shoes. If shoes are unnatural, so are clothes.

If soy "meat" is unnatural, what makes it that way? Certainly not the ingredients. The process then? What about the process is unnatural?

If you define unnatural as anything made by humans, than you're implying we're not natural.
_________________________
~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#31823 - 11/17/09 01:29 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
coelentrate Offline
member


Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 164
Loc: Dundee, Scotland
 Originally Posted By: 6Satan6Archist6
Just a few examples of things that, by definition, are unnatural.


Just based on the evidence, spelled out more plainly by CJ, my opinion is that the word "unnatural" is a product of a more ignorant time and is ready to die.

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#31826 - 11/17/09 02:09 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: coelentrate]
Sonsosatan Offline
stranger


Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Indeed: "unnatural" should be replaced by "reproducibility".

If independently we all arrive at the same conclusion about something using the same set of data and test procedures then something can be reproduced by anyone, anywhere, anytime so long as all things are equal.

Isn't nature like that?
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#31828 - 11/17/09 02:50 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Sonsosatan]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Sonsosatan
Indeed: "unnatural" should be replaced by "reproducibility".

If independently we all arrive at the same conclusion about something using the same set of data and test procedures then something can be reproduced by anyone, anywhere, anytime so long as all things are equal.

Isn't nature like that?


Not always. One word: Platypus.

People tend to see vegetarianism vs omnivorism as an either/or, go/no go proposition, like it's some binary computation or a highway with fixed exit points. The truth of the matter is that like most things in life, it's all part of a human spectrum that allows for infinite variation. There are extreme vegetarians and there are extreme carnivores and a whole lot of space inbetween for variations on a theme.

We wouldn't get all bent out of shape if a person in a room of 100 said, "All I wear is black," while on the other side of the room, someone else said, "All I wear is white." Between the two, there would be 98 others who've found that while all black or all white just isn't for them, there are many options from which they can draw, and they can still choose one or another extreme for a time if they wish. Humans have the ability and the need to color their existence with nuances that separate them from each other. While they might appreciate the binary efficiency of a computerized model of life, they can't really embrace it in the reality of flesh and blood.

Absolutes demand exception.
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#31829 - 11/17/09 03:09 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Jake999]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
There are no absoultes? Wait...dammit.

I don't mind someone saying "All I eat are nuts and berries," much the same as I don't mind someone "I wear all black." If it were some stranger, I really wouldn't even mind (aside from being a bit creeped out) if he came up to me on the street and said so.

However, to follow your analogy...what if there is someone that says "All I wear is black, because wearing white is MURDER and RAPING THE ENVIRONMENT!" That's just downright insulting. "I don't wear white because it makes me look fat" or "I don't wear white because I don't like the way it looks on me" are both perfectly fine and rational explanations. But, because I on occasion wear white, my answer to the first person would be either scornful insult back or an argument to the contrary of their position (depending on what I thought of the person, aside from their odd beliefs).

The same is true for those vegetarians that don't eat meat because they think it's murder. Even if they say something like..."Well, it's my own personal belief that eating meat is murder, but I can respect your decision to eat meat" still means they consider someone who eats meat up there with a serial killer. I find it rather insulting that someone believes that I'm a murderer. Again, if I don't give a shit about him or her otherwise, than I'll just tell them to fuck themselves and continue on. If I actually do give enough of a fuck about the person, then I would argue with them.

More often then not, the other person's position goes from "it's murder" to "I just don't like having the death of animals on my conscience," which is completely fine by me, because I am quite capable of holding an animal's death on my conscience (and stomach!).
Anybody that seriously felt different than that, I couldn't accept them as a friend or anything like that, because of their position that I'm a murderer.
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~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#31831 - 11/17/09 03:28 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: CJB]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3139
Vegeterianism mostly consists out of moral arguments, and as far as I know are moral arguments unbiased. This means that vegeterianism can only be 'good' or 'bad' (lack of wording) in the eye of the beholder.

If vegeterians consider only eating plants 'better for the envirronement and global life' let them believe it. Same goes for the pure carnivorists. The bitching about the pro and con's is a serious time-waster since it all boils down on the vision of the person on life, and opinion.
If a vegeterian believes killing animals is the same as murdering humans, let them have it.

If they start preaching in your face because you are wearing an animalskin, or are eating a good piece of meat: use that one advice Lavey once wrote about warning and smashing the other one's face.

Vegeterian lifestyle is as healthy as a carnivorian one. Both need a certain compensation from vitamines, minerals and proteins which can only be found in the opposite lifestyle.
Is it unhealthy to live one of these two?
Plain answer is yes if you aren't informed very well. Humans are omnivores, we need both plants and meat in order to have a healthy good-working body. We can ofcourse survive or even maintain our good health even if we choose to be vegeterian or carnivorian, as long as the person is aware of it's choice and the possible complications which might occur when choosing one or another.
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#31832 - 11/17/09 03:32 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: CJB]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
Care to guess how many people think that I'm a murderer because I was in Vietnam? I can live with people thinking I'm a murderer because I eat a burger.

You can't control what people think. The inside of someone's head is a veritable minefield of nuances and subtleties that to you and I might seem picayune and mundane, but in their cloistered little world become horrendous bugaboos that they just can't grasp, even if one tries to give them wisdom through logic. "More things on heaven and earth..."

All we can ultimately do is realize that there ARE some men who are islands and sail past. They don't impact our lives much, if at all, unless we choose to let them.
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#31833 - 11/17/09 04:09 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: Dimitri]
ballbreaker Offline
member


Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 134
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Vegeterianism mostly consists out of moral arguments, and as far as I know are moral arguments unbiased. This means that vegeterianism can only be 'good' or 'bad' (lack of wording) in the eye of the beholder.


I think you've more or less hit this one on the head, Dimitri. Jake999's shirt analogy is also very apt in connection with this...ethical choices, from an amoralist framework, don't really differ in content from aesthetic preferences (unless this wasn't where you were going, Jake, in which case please correct me).

There's no reason to waste time pondering whether those vegetarians are on to something or not...they can't do much more than "Boo!" or "Hurrah!" meat, and we can't do much more than issue emotional dis/approval for one or the other.

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#31863 - 11/17/09 09:28 PM Re: Vegetarian, The Moral Argument. [Re: CJB]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Originally Posted By: CJB
I agree with you on principle here, that these things would be considered unnatural, but what about them makes them unnatural?


Unnatural means NOT OCCURRING IN NATURE. Not a terribly difficult concept to grasp...at least that is what one would think.

 Originally Posted By: CJB
Plastic is made out of oil, which is a natural substance. Automobiles are made out of metal...well, mostly. Sometimes.


Have you ever found a piece of plastic that just came into being from oil on its own without human intervention? Have you ever heard of car that was not built by people?

 Originally Posted By: CJB
The composition is beside the point...the point is that everything a car is made from is something taken from nature and refined by humans.


No. The point is anything that doesn't occur in nature, on its own, is unnatural.

 Originally Posted By: CJB
EVERYTHING in your list of unnatural stuff is made from things from nature (which stands to reason, since anything tangible is made from stuff from nature).


See above.

 Originally Posted By: CJB
There is nothing in the definition of Boca burgers that say their creation runs contrary to the laws of how the universe works.


Right, but I never said "their creation runs contrary to the laws of how the universe works". Yet the fact still remains that they have to be created. They are made from natural ingredients but you will never find a Boca patty growing on a soybean plant. Unless scientists come up with a way to alter soy bean plants. Even then it would still be unnatural because it took human intervention to create.

 Originally Posted By: CJB
If a car is unnatural, so is a bike. If a bike is unnatural, so are running shoes. If shoes are unnatural, so are clothes.

If soy "meat" is unnatural, what makes it that way? Certainly not the ingredients. The process then? What about the process is unnatural?


Again, see above.

 Originally Posted By: CJB
If you define unnatural as anything made by humans, than you're implying we're not natural.


No, that is not what I am implying at all. I don't even see how you could make such an irrational leap in conclusion. I think I know what you are getting her so let me clear it up for you. Yes, humans give birth to other humans; essentially humans make other humans. Here is the catch though: child birth occurs in nature.

This thread is off track though so if you would like to continue you can make a new thread. If you do please just try to avoid the slippery slopes. ;\)
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