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A number of studies have shown that plants feel pain, and vegetables are picked and often eaten while still alive. Animal rights activists are often in the news, but has anyone ever protested for vegetable rights?
Phil Cohen, Sydney, Australia
This must be a spoof question. The comment "and often eaten while still alive" raises the question when do vegetables die? two minutes, ten minutes, two hours after being pulled from the ground???
Farmers often allow sheep to graze on marigolds and cabbages still growing in the fields.
Plants begin to wilt the moment that their link with a supply of moisture is severed, so the fresher they are the better the taste and nutritional value. Perhaps that Guru of plants, HRH Prince Charles, should be consulted....
originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: ServantOfTheLambMorality is relative, a mere human invention to placate its mind and heart with/for no good reason.
originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
The moral relativist considers moral propositions to be subjective statements made about some action or intent of oneself or another. So in a sense the moral relativist is telling us that when we say something like, "Jesus was a good man" or "Hitler was an evil man" what we are really doing is saying something along the lines of "I like Jesus" or "I don't like Hitler". I would imagine for those of us who can truly introspect we recognize a problem right away. In our everyday lives when we aren't actually thinking about morality we make statements like this, but at no point in time when make moral claims do we consider them to be about preferences, but for a moment let us yield to moral relativism and follow it thru to its ends.
If we take the position that moral claims are indeed simply talking about preferences, then the statement "Hitler was an evil man" is the same as saying "Vanilla ice cream is a bad flavor of ice cream". The moral relativist say there is nothing true or false about either of those statements, but rather these statements are about preferences and believing that something like a truly bad flavor of ice cream exists would be silly. You have flavors of ice cream you enjoy and some you don't, but the idea that ice cream has some objective reference point that makes it more or less delicious is absurd. In the same way, if morals are simply statements about ones preferences, then the meaning we perceive behind these claims is just as illusory as the meaning behind a statement about good and bad flavors of ice cream. This lead us to the conclusion that if moral relativism is true, then there really is no such thing as a moral or immoral action beyond that of the illusion we humans pull over our eyes, this is moral skepticism. This position however leaves us with some pretty heavy baggage.
The statement “Torturing babies for fun is wrong” is an indicative moral proposition rather than an imperative moral statement like, “you ought not torture babies for fun”. Indicative moral propositions such as “torturing babies for fun is wrong” are meaningful and are truth claims. All this means is that the statement “torturing babies for fun is wrong” is a like a Boolean value, either true or false. All indicative moral propositions, if they are meaningful, are either true or false.
The idea I will put forth here is the idea that the meaningfulness of moral language presupposes the objective existence of moral qualities and facts. In other words, IF moral statements are indeed truth-accessible, THEN some moral statements are in fact true. That is, moral skepticism is false. We will begin elaborating on this idea by looking at a simple tautology, which is a statement that is necessarily true because it is logically impossible that it is false. For any statements P and Q, either [either P or Q] or [not-P and not-Q]. That is to say, either P is true or Q is true or neither P nor Q are true. The relevance of this tautology to morality becomes clear when we substitute P and Q for some indicative moral proposition.
So let us use our example of an indicative moral proposition from earlier, so the P = "Torturing babies for fun is right" and Q = "Torturing babies for fun is wrong". The tautology could then be transformed to into some statement that has relevance in the real world. Either [either “torturing babies for fun is right” or “torturing babies for fun is wrong”] or [“torturing babies for fun is not right” and “torturing people for fun is not wrong”]. This of course means the same as, either “torturing babies is right” or “torturing babies is wrong” or “torturing babies for fun is neither right nor wrong”.
Moral Skepticism, however, holds that all moral propositions are false. So it would follow from this, that both P and Q are false thus affirming the truth of [not-P and not-Q]. The moral skeptic therefore has to conclude that “torturing babies for fun is neither right nor wrong,” which means the same thing as “torturing babies is not a moral issue." Moral skeptics can espouse the truth of certain claims that use moral language, that is the honest moral skeptic can accept the claim, "torturing babies for fun is not a moral issue" because it is an amoral claim rather than a moral one.
The moral skeptic, however, does not say that the action of "torturing babies for fun" is the only action that is amoral, but rather the true moral skeptic holds that all actions are amoral. This brings us to what I think is a rather simple refutation of moral skepticism, as the skeptics position as it stands is literally meaningless. The words "moral" and "amoral" are classificatory devices. In other words, they exist as categories into which people and actions are sorted. The meaning of these words is established by the contrast that exists between the two categories. The concepts are bi-polar in that the existence of one classificatory device on its own is a meaningless idea. There is only meaning if and only if a contrast exists between the two terms and this necessarily requires that they both exist. ‘Amorality’ is understood by the contrast with ‘morality.' Without the understanding provided by the existence of a competing category, a person would not be able to understand what it is that is meant when an action is assigned to the category, even in principle. In other words, the claim that an action is not a moral issue is meaningful if and only if moral issues do actually exist.
The skeptic destroys the language they use by eliminating the opposite category. The claim "all actions are amoral actions" is meaningless, if it says anything at all, it simply says all actions are indeed actions, which is true but meaningless.
Now let us look at the following syllogism:
1) If eating animals is wrong then eating panda bears is wrong.
2) Eating animals is wrong.
3) Eating panda bears is not wrong.
I am assuming all of you recognize that this syllogism is internally inconsistent, but for the moral skeptic there is no contradiction here. If one assigns the value of false to the above statements, then the if/then relationship does not hold and as a consequence of this the conjunction of the other two (false) statements is not inconsistent.
So in conclusion, the meaningfulness of the moral language we use presupposes the truth of moral realism. It presupposes the existence of moral qualities and entails the existence of moral facts. That means the doubts of the skeptic are meaningful if and only if they are necessarily groundless.
Suppose we totally ditch the terminology and concepts around the word moral.
Suppose we substitute the Prime Directive from Star Trek as the "go to" rule of order. --The old-fashioned Golden Rule that really is just a nice rule to live by and not necessarily connected to any religion but it is an obvious deduction to the view that life is sacred. That is an objective position.
But even objectivity hits a wall. Taken in a relative sense of a typical, modern human all bacteria harmful to humans is "bad." But given the scenario that all other life is dead in the universe and only the harmful bacteria is the only life form left, is it not then sacred?
Morality is relative, a mere human invention to placate its mind and heart with/for no good reason.
Your suggesting that pain and pleasure are subjective experience when in reality they are not.
I think it is all based on relative POV.. Take for example ; "Slavery and slave holders are evil." But everyone's ancestors were slave holders..everyone. So were everyone's ancestors evil?! Through the lenses of the better understanding of modern society, yes all our ancestors were evil. But from their own POV ..not so much.