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Poll
Question: If you had a time machine, how many generations / years must separate you from your meat?
0+ generations, eat your brother / sister - 2 (9.5%)
1+ generations, eat your parents - 0 (0%)
2+ generations, eat your grandparents - 0 (0%)
3+ generations, eat your great-greandparents - 0 (0%)
4+ generations, eat your X-times-great greandparents - 1 (4.8%)
150+ generations, eat the illiterate man - 1 (4.8%)
400+ generations, eat pre-agricultural man - 1 (4.8%)
12,000+ years, domenstication of dog - 0 (0%)
25,000+ years, Neanderthals die out - 0 (0%)
50,000+ years, approx development of speech - 2 (9.5%)
60,000+ years, Y-chromosomal Adam - 0 (0%)
150K+ years, Mitochondrial Eve - 0 (0%)
200K+, Archaic Homo sapiens - 1 (4.8%)
1.5M+, control of fire - 1 (4.8%)
2.5M+, appearance of the Homo genus, stone tools - 0 (0%)
6M+, Chimps - 6 (28.6%)
14M+, Orangutans - 0 (0%)
25M+, Old-World Monkeys - 1 (4.8%)
40M+, New-World Monkeys - 0 (0%)
58M+, Tarsiers - 0 (0%)
75M+, Rodents - 0 (0%)
140M+, Marsupials - 1 (4.8%)
340M+, Amphibians - 1 (4.8%)
565M+, Sea squirts - 1 (4.8%)
800M+, Sponges - 1 (4.8%)
???, Fungus - 0 (0%)
(that leaves only plants) - 1 (4.8%)
Total Voters: 11

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Author Topic: Can we eat our relatives?  (Read 5793 times)
Alex Libman
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« on: October 14, 2008, 01:28:41 AM »

In my "Can we eat the aliens?" poll we've established that the meat-bags on Planet Moo are fair game.  This poll tackles the question from the opposite end - when is it OK to eat your relatives, zoologically speaking.

Imagine you're a scientist in the 24th century trying to invent a better sex toy, and, purely by accident, your orgasmatronasonaronic controls jam and you are transported backwards in time with no way to return.  You are very disappointed by your predicament, but you decide to go on living anyway, and you set off in search of food.  You come across an animal of some sort, whack it over the head, and start a fire to cook it.  You wonder if it may be poisonous, so you perform a tissue analysis via your solar-powered PDA, and -- oh horror! -- you discover that this critter shares a good fraction of your DNA and is in fact a species on the long evolutionary chain that eventually lead to primates and then modern man!  So, um, can you still eat the critter?  Where do you draw the line?

I say it's OK to eat any species that cannot be an actor in the modern economy: buy, sell, and respect the rights of others.  Since human brains didn't change much over the past 20,000 or so years (correct me if I'm wrong), people from back then could still be taught to become doctors or lawyers in the modern world, and people from even 50,000 years might be considered functional retards who deserve their full rights.  Then you have a gray area of retards who cannot be granted rights to liberty and property, but, like infants, should be given the right to life.  So I think votes between 50,000 and 2,500,000 years ago being the dividing line are valid.  I'd pick the latter just to err on the side of caution.

Homo Sapien Power FTW!  Cool

At least until the Neosapiens come along...  Laughing
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YixilTesiphon
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 02:34:36 AM »

Old-world monkeys, as a guess at how far back some level of moral reasoning lies.
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And their kids were hippie chicks - all hypocrites.
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 02:36:24 AM »

If you go back too far, you'll likely do yourself in by consuming those whom produced those who then went on to produce you.
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Russell Griswold
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 02:50:03 AM »

If you go back too far, you'll likely do yourself in by consuming those whom produced those who then went on to produce you.

Think that'll boost the economy?
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Alex Libman
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 02:54:48 AM »

Old-world monkeys, as a guess at how far back some level of moral reasoning lies.

Does that mean you want Mommy Government to prevent people from eating chimps / orangutans / etc today?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 03:20:43 AM by Alex Libman » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 02:56:49 AM »

Old-world monkeys, as a guess at how far back some level of moral reasoning lies.

Does that mean you want Mommy Government to prevent people from eating chimps / orangutans / etc today?

No, they can't possibly, but I think it's fucked up.
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And their kids were hippie chicks - all hypocrites.
Yo Noid!!!
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 03:15:03 AM »

I think this is the defining factor in what is or isn't.  Draws the line pretty clearly for me at least.


[youtube=425,350]CwtOSOEL9rE[/youtube]
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Alex Libman
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2008, 03:16:39 AM »

Whoever voted you can eat your siblings - um...   Laughing


If you go back too far, you'll likely do yourself in by consuming those whom produced those who then went on to produce you.

Let's say the time-travel issue doesn't apply, or it's an alternative universe of some sort.  You know your own life isn't in danger from eating the critter.  In fact, you're not even starving anymore, because you found some food sources that don't eventually evolve into humans.  It's purely a moral issue.


This is vegan propaganda....I'm not voting.

Couldn't be further from the truth.  (Though I tried veganism for like a month just as an experiment - hated it.)  I am one of the biggest meat-eaters in the world.  I just find this question amusing - do I need a better reason than that to post a poll around here?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 03:20:56 AM by Alex Libman » Logged
Rillion

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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 07:53:23 AM »

Old-world monkeys, as a guess at how far back some level of moral reasoning lies.

Does that mean you want Mommy Government to prevent people from eating chimps / orangutans / etc today?

I don't know-- should Mommy Government prevent people from eating two year olds today?
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Alex Libman
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 09:09:53 AM »

I don't know-- should Mommy Government prevent people from eating two year olds today

Two-year-old human beings (and even 0.000000000001-year-old human beings, but not an hour earlier) have a right to life from the point of physical autonomy (i.e. birth).  This should apply to all species who have the capacity to act as independent economic agents, that is pull their own weight in the economy and respect the rights of others.  No species other than human currently exists that can do that.  (I'd also argue against giving rights to androids and other AI entities, but that's a separate issue.)

Those rights come from them being a competitive advantage: a society that punishes the murderers of two-year-olds will do better than the one that doesn't.  A society that punishes the murderers of lesser animals will do worse - it will appease a system of demagogue politicians appealing to pity rather than logic, waste money on enforcement of those victimless crimes, encourage a black market, lose its productive members to prison, etc, etc, etc.  Not to mention miss out on some delicacies, a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  And, far more importantly, scientific benefits of medical experiments on chimps.
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 10:24:38 AM »

I don't know-- should Mommy Government prevent people from eating two year olds today

Two-year-old human beings (and even 0.000000000001-year-old human beings, but not an hour earlier) have a right to life from the point of physical autonomy (i.e. birth).  This should apply to all species who have the capacity to act as independent economic agents, that is pull their own weight in the economy and respect the rights of others.  No species other than human currently exists that can do that.  (I'd also argue against giving rights to androids and other AI entities, but that's a separate issue.)

I submit that your use of species as the dividing line to determine who has a right to life is arbitrary.  A species does not have "the capacity to act as independent economic agents, that is pull their own weight in the economy and respect the rights of others," individuals within  the species have that capacity.  A two year old-- or, for that matter, a senile 90 year old-- no more has that capacity than a chimp does. 

Quote
Those rights come from them being a competitive advantage: a society that punishes the murderers of two-year-olds will do better than the one that doesn't.
A society that punishes the murderers of lesser animals will do worse - it will appease a system of demagogue politicians appealing to pity rather than logic, waste money on enforcement of those victimless crimes, encourage a black market, lose its productive members to prison, etc, etc, etc.

All of these assumptions stem from the fact that you, personally, don't think chimps have any rights.  In other words, you're assuming your conclusion.  One could say that "it will appease a system of demagogue politicians appealing to pity rather than logic, waste money on enforcement of those victimless crimes, encourage a black market, lose its productive members to prison, etc, etc, etc." about anything that they do not believe should be against the law.  Besides, do you believe in the rights of the individual, or the rights of a society?  If the former, then this whole line of argument goes out the window.  If the latter, then I don't want to live in your society. 

Quote
Not to mention miss out on some delicacies, a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  And, far more importantly, scientific benefits of medical experiments on chimps.

I don't believe that scientists actually use chimpanzees for medical experimentation-- at least the kind that seriously harms or kills them.  It's enormously expensive, for one thing, and unnecessary if you can use a rat instead and get just as good a result, which usually seems to be the case.  If something more complex is required, they generally go for a rhesus monkey. 

I don't think that chimps should have all of the rights that two year olds do-- it should be legal to keep them in zoos, and so on.  But I wouldn't be opposed to their gratuitous murder being against the law.  If I caught someone trying to kill a chimp to have it as a "delicacy" for dinner, I would most likely do everything in my power to stop them. 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 10:27:45 AM by Rillion » Logged
Porcupine_in_MA
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 10:32:41 AM »

This is vegan propaganda....I'm not voting.

Laughing
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Alex Libman
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2008, 12:43:12 PM »

I submit that your use of species as the dividing line to determine who has a right to life is arbitrary.


Then what makes us different from bacon or lettuce?


A species does not have "the capacity to act as independent economic agents, that is pull their own weight in the economy and respect the rights of others," individuals within the species have that capacity.


Show me a plant or animal that deserves rights, and I will recognize those rights and help defend them!

Yes, some animals can be conditioned by humans to behave politely, do something that other human beings are willing to pay for, accept tokens for their tricks and exchange them for bananas, etc.  But it takes a lot of time to train an animal like this, and its life probably isn't in danger because of its value to its owners.  If a tribe of monkeys can sustain this culture, then you might have an argument, but countless experiments show that no non-human animal can.


A two year old-- or, for that matter, a senile 90 year old-- no more has that capacity than a chimp does.


A two-year-old and a senile person probably should not have full rights to liberty and property (a jury should decide that on case-by-case basis), but, unlike chimps, they should have the right to life for all the reasons I've already mentioned, which have nothing to do with intelligence.

A society which allows infanticide fails to draw a rational line for where the right to life begins: the question of whether parents have the right to kill a 6-year-old or a 12-year-old would perpetually come up.  It would decrease the population growth, and allow parents to get away with unlimited child abuse, whereas having the right to life from birth would allow the minor to sue for emancipation, or have someone sue on its behalf, and/or to expose the parents' misdeeds afterwords, which would be an effective deterrent.


One could say that "it will appease a system of demagogue politicians appealing to pity rather than logic, waste money on enforcement of those victimless crimes, encourage a black market, lose its productive members to prison, etc, etc, etc." about anything that they do not believe should be against the law.


The only things that should be against the law (in a criminal sense) are violations of the Non-Aggression Principle, which I believe has a rational basis.  I can prove that punishing killers of man is good and not punishing them is bad by pointing out numerous anthropological examples.  Recognition of rights in human beings is essential to a civilized society.  Recognition of rights in chimps only brings about the harms I've mentioned.


Besides, do you believe in the rights of the individual, or the rights of a society?


There is no such thing as a "society" as one entity, just interaction between the individual entities within it.  All my comments about the way groups of people ought to function come from my own self-interest, and call upon independent action of individual human beings for the same purpose.

I recognize that the thief who robbed my neighbor's house might harm my property next, and it is in my best interest to chip in to catch him, and hopefully my neighbor would do the same if my house was robbed.  If someone buys a chimp on a free market, takes it home, and kills it, how does that harm me?  In fact, it is in my best interest to defend this person if some PETA nuts go after him, because maybe they'll go after my right to eat meat or wear fur next!  And we all benefit from treating animals as property: the human civilization wouldn't have come very far without it.


I don't believe that scientists actually use chimpanzees for medical experimentation-- at least the kind that seriously harms or kills them.  It's enormously expensive, for one thing, and unnecessary if you can use a rat instead and get just as good a result, which usually seems to be the case.  If something more complex is required, they generally go for a rhesus monkey.


The reason why it's so expensive is because of all the red tape involved, which is in place because of the "animal rights" nuts.  In a free society, breeding chimps wouldn't be much more expensive than breeding pigs.  And using lab animals that are most similar to humans does have advantages.  If a radical experimental head transplant procedure that was never tried on humans before is your only hope of survival, would you rather it be tested on rats or chimps before you?  Even if it offers a 0.01% improvement in my survival rate, I'd go with the chimp!


But I wouldn't be opposed to their gratuitous murder being against the law.  If I caught someone trying to kill a chimp to have it as a "delicacy" for dinner, I would most likely do everything in my power to stop them. 


Then you are a very immoral person, and I hope your initiation of aggression against your fellow man is reciprocated successfully.

If you want to protect chimps, buy them, or contribute to a charity that does.  Persuade other to help you, but without using force.  No one has the right to hurt a chimp that is on someone else's property!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 01:07:17 PM by Alex Libman » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2008, 11:38:10 PM »

If you go back too far, you'll likely do yourself in by consuming those whom produced those who then went on to produce you.

Think that'll boost the economy?

Great idea. I hope the gov. opens the door to this opportunity for our struggling market.

As for you, Libman, I stand by my words (quoted above). In a serious topic like this one, you can't just pull random exceptions into the equation all willy-nilly. Time travel does apply, and you know it.
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 08:53:04 PM »

I figure that since matter is recycled I've already eaten parts of a bunch of my ancestors.
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