New Hampshire Underground

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Please log in on the special "login" page, not on any of these normal pages. Thank you, The Procrastinating Management

"Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes."  --Alexander Haig

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism  (Read 2162 times)

memenode

  • Mischievous
  • **
  • Karma: 31
  • Posts: 288
  • Web publisher with a mission.
    • DoublePlusHuman
Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« on: October 27, 2008, 09:51 AM NHFT »

Hi,

(My apologies for not making this shorter, I had to explain where this is coming from.)

I have been debating with someone about voluntaryism again and one thing of value that he made me consider is the issue of animal rights.

I pointed out that rights are inalienable to a being. It corresponds to what a given being by nature is. If it's in its nature to live and desire living then it has a right to life. If it needs to have property in order to exist as a full being of its species then it has to have property rights and so on. I've explained how this applies to humans here: http://www.memeverse.com/2008/10/25/right-to-life-liberty-and-property-equals-human-being/

So basically, without rights to life, liberty and property a human being cannot BE a human being. This, however, extends to certain animals then because it can be said that a certain animal cannot exist as such without also needing certain rights. But humans eat them, consider themselves and their territory (if they want one) as human property.

My debater concluded with an amazingly negative theory, that since humans cannot live without killing or taking their rights and those same animals did the same to those existing prior to them, the theft and murder are the defaults of our world and thus rights cannot be inalienable, but are dependent on might, might of majority or might of major fire power. Thus according to him rights are given to me by others and I shouldn't complain if others then think it's OK for some of them to steal from me (via a government). He says, therefore, that humans have a choice between death and this sort of "corruption" where the only way you can choose to live and not feel guilt at the same time is to turn that negative into a positive (I guess try to forget why are you feeling guilty).

As you can imagine I can't for the love of universe accept that paradigm. It totally ignores even every attempt to try and cease violating animal rights, it is a complete regression even for humans because inalienable human rights are denied.

So instead of accepting the above theory I would like to discuss animal rights with you. Those who've read The Probability Broach can notice that in a free society described chimpanzees and dolphins are given equal rights to humans. It's a first example of interspecies voluntaryism that I've seen in fiction. :)

So.. what do you think?
Logged

Dave Ridley

  • This forum calls me an
  • Enemy of the State
  • ******
  • Karma: 1536
  • Posts: 7162
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2008, 11:30 AM NHFT »

i'd never heard of twitter...big thank you to the army for clueing more of us in!
Logged

memenode

  • Mischievous
  • **
  • Karma: 31
  • Posts: 288
  • Web publisher with a mission.
    • DoublePlusHuman
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2008, 01:11 PM NHFT »

DadaOrwell, I think that was meant for this topic, not here. :)
Logged

JAC

  • Liberty Lover
  • *
  • Karma: 28
  • Posts: 35
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 12:26 AM NHFT »

Hey,

You bring up an interesting discussion.  I'll give you my take on a few of your comments below.

I pointed out that rights are inalienable to a being. It corresponds to what a given being by nature is. If it's in its nature to live and desire living then it has a right to life.
Rights, to my understanding, have nothing to do with desires.  Millions of people desire free health care, does that mean they have a right to it?  No one has a right to life, they have a right to THEIR life.  Rights derive from property, not the other way around.

Quote
If it needs to have property in order to exist as a full being of its species then it has to have property rights and so on.
So rights need to be guaranteed so that man can reach his full potential; exist as a "full being"?  I am not too sure what you mean by this, but I can tell that it is a teleological argument of some kind, so I object to it on the basis of its nihilism ("valuelessness")

In other words, you and I do not have rights FOR something; the justification of rights does not come from their usage as a TOOL; a MEANS to reach some other end - or what you call a "full being."  Rights, again, derive from property, and NOT from the fact that we for some reason need to achieve this "full being" status you speak of.

Quote
So basically, without rights to life, liberty and property a human being cannot BE a human being.
This is an odd sort of Sartrean "existence precedes essence" argument.  I agree that man creates himself, his value, his life, and that he must mold himself through his own radical freedom as a human being, but I don't see how you can conclude that, morally, rights need to be guaranteed because, otherwise, man can not BE man.  I am confused on that.  Perhaps you could explicate?  What does this "full being" consist of?  How do you define it?  And in what way can such teleology ("goal seeking") be used to justify rights?
 
Quote
This, however, extends to certain animals then because it can be said that a certain animal cannot exist as such without also needing certain rights. But humans eat them, consider themselves and their territory (if they want one) as human property.
Humans never would have existed if they hadn't treated animals as property.  By your logic that means it is man's RIGHT to treat animals as property because it is necessary for his existence; for him to BE who he is.

Quote
My debater concluded with an amazingly negative theory, that since humans cannot live without killing or taking their rights and those same animals did the same to those existing prior to them, the theft and murder are the defaults of our world and thus rights cannot be inalienable, but are dependent on might, might of majority or might of major fire power.
They are.  Rights derive from property, but if I can't protect my property then I lose my rights.  Hence the danger of this huge governmental, non-consensual authority parading around violating people's rights and robbing them of their means to defend those rights.

Quote
Thus according to him rights are given to me by others
Well we both agree that this is a flawed conclusion on his part.  It is not a matter of "You have the rights that [external force X] lets you have"; it is a matter of "You have the rights that [external force X] hasn't, yet, taken from you."

This is not true because you or I view it to be so, or because this is how we, personally, justify the existence of rights and the moral recognition thereof; this is true because it is the way things are; because, put simply, if you are DEAD because someone killed you, then you no longer have rights.  Morally, you and I may agree said action is disgusting and wrong, but some people will violate your rights because they view things differently, so at the end of the day your rights are only worth the power you can put behind them.  Many human beings are too weak to defend their own rights; too weak to put any power behind the protection of their own rights - and so they will usually stand aside and voluntarily (yes, VOLUNTARILY) let some external force protect their rights through means which they may, personally, find abhorrent.  But they psychologically convince themselves that the ends justify the means (another teleological argument, hence the moral, nihilistic void that follows it) and allow said external force to exercise its power in awful ways.
Logged

sandm000

  • Bunch O' Krap
  • Resister
  • ***
  • Karma: 72
  • Posts: 563
  • Blue Blaze Irregular
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008, 11:36 AM NHFT »

I would like to think that Rights do exist, but I am more and more convinced that the word Right is a verbal shorthand for a more complex situation. To whit:

Imagine a world with only vegetable matter on it, do rights exist? I would say no.  Only the darwinistic concept of survival exists. (This does not require you to believe in evolution only the concept of survival of the fittest [both in the meaning of those who have reproduced, and those who are strong])

Add to this world insects, fish, birds, small mammals, and all other animals, asking yourself "do rights exist because of the existence of X?"  If you run across a case where you say yes, set it aside for the next portion.

Add to this world Men, apes, cetaceans, and "intelligent" machinery. What rights exist external of these beings? Rights are conceptual in nature and wholly dependent on the existence of the being in question who claims that it has rights.

We (humans) are predators and force is the only way to defend ourselves.  We have only what we can keep a hold on. In order to prevent the other predators from attacking us, we have adopted a "society" wherein none attacks any other.  This respect for the person (and by extension property) of another is what we call "Rights".

As to the rights of the animals, only you can decide, for yourself, what animals to respect the "Rights" of.  You can try to convince others by any means, save initiated force, to accept your list of animals as worthy of respect.
Logged

J’raxis 270145

  • Voluntaryist
  • Enemy of the State
  • ******
  • Karma: 1110
  • Posts: 3487
  • DILIGE·QVOD·VIS·FAC
    • Jeremy J. Olson
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 12:01 PM NHFT »

My own take on “animal rights” is that any animal that can show volitional behavior have rights. The remainder can be considered property, natural resources, or similar. In reality, volitional behavior seems to be constrained to humans, but I leave open the possibility that other animals such as dolphins or the higher apes, and of course “sapient/sentient” space aliens, should any ever be discovered, could fall into this category.
Logged

Giggan

  • Mischievous
  • **
  • Karma: 104
  • Posts: 378
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 12:14 PM NHFT »

I'm not a big fan of Jeremy Bentham of utilitarianism as a philosophy, but his way of posing the 'rights' issue was not to ask if animals have emotions and such but whether they can suffer. If they can, it is plausible that a living organism which can suffer should be excused from suffering as much as possible...whether this becomes a right, I'm not sure, because the very concept of rights is not applicable to an organism which can't choose. I think someone is an a-hole who tortures animals, but until I see further evidence I would not claim animals have rights.
Logged

sandm000

  • Bunch O' Krap
  • Resister
  • ***
  • Karma: 72
  • Posts: 563
  • Blue Blaze Irregular
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008, 02:43 PM NHFT »

My own take on “animal rights” is that any animal that can show volitional behavior have rights. The remainder can be considered property, natural resources, or similar. In reality, volitional behavior seems to be constrained to humans, but I leave open the possibility that other animals such as dolphins or the higher apes, and of course “sapient/sentient” space aliens, should any ever be discovered, could fall into this category.

Do you not believe that machines at some point may become sentient?
Logged

K. Darien Freeheart

  • Majorly Manchkin!
  • Freedom Fighter
  • *****
  • Karma: 435
  • Posts: 1729
  • Peace Fanatic
    • K. Darien Freeheart's Facebook
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008, 02:56 PM NHFT »

I'm not willing to make a "rule". To me, killing isn't a logical reaction because I know it is a violations of rights. It's a moral imperative - the idea of killing makes me cringe on the inside. For me, that's really all that matters.

Just as I, as a single human individual, recognize a right to own property, I hold open the idea of a sentient, telepathic race of aliens. This race, because they do NOT think as a single individual, may NOT have a right to own property but really, it's all intellectual masturbation to me. I've not experienced another race or species that evokes the same kind of emotional imperative that humans do, so it's moot for me. :)
Logged

J’raxis 270145

  • Voluntaryist
  • Enemy of the State
  • ******
  • Karma: 1110
  • Posts: 3487
  • DILIGE·QVOD·VIS·FAC
    • Jeremy J. Olson
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2008, 03:39 PM NHFT »

My own take on “animal rights” is that any animal that can show volitional behavior have rights. The remainder can be considered property, natural resources, or similar. In reality, volitional behavior seems to be constrained to humans, but I leave open the possibility that other animals such as dolphins or the higher apes, and of course “sapient/sentient” space aliens, should any ever be discovered, could fall into this category.

Do you not believe that machines at some point may become sentient?

Perhaps. And if they do, they’d be deserving of rights protection, also.
Logged

memenode

  • Mischievous
  • **
  • Karma: 31
  • Posts: 288
  • Web publisher with a mission.
    • DoublePlusHuman
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2008, 04:24 PM NHFT »

Hi,

I've since writing the original post discussed on chat and also thought more about it and wrote another blog entry about it. In a nutshell I ended up bringing it down to whether one is capable of demanding AND decides to demand rights. How can I be expected or obliged to respect the rights of someone or something if it doesn't ask so, and ask in a way that I can actually understand. If that doesn't happen then there's doubt whether the being in question is even capable of recognizing its own existence as such let alone capable of demanding that others recognize and respect it.

My debater brought up the issue of black slaves, but in that case they clearly did demand rights and were not granted them for too long. That's what made it so bad. He also mentioned beings demanding rights in a language I can't understand... well I don't really have much to say to that. I have to understand the demand as such or else it's moot. Nothing happens. The message has to clearly get through.

And if someone doesn't demand, it's really up to me what to do, but my obligation of recognition and respect doesn't exist.

Quote from: JAC
Millions of people desire free health care, does that mean they have a right to it?  No one has a right to life, they have a right to THEIR life.  Rights derive from property, not the other way around.

So without self-ownership there is no right to life. Makes sense. Also considering that self-ownership also requires self-recognition which is basically self-awareness, we get back to the usual delimiter for whether a being can or can't have rights (which is self-awareness).

Quote from: JAC
So rights need to be guaranteed so that man can reach his full potential; exist as a "full being"?

Not necessarily even his "full" potential, but just to be what he is tending to be. I guess that's the same as saying "full potential" since only he can decide what his limits are.

I suppose I base the idea of "rights" on "capabilities". If you by nature are capable of doing something it means you can do it. But if someone comes along and says "no you can't" he is denying you that capability and since that capability is a part of what makes you "you", he is denying your nature. You can still choose to exercise your capability because you yourself recognize it and thus believe you have a right to it, but depending on how much force is the denier willing to put behind his denial you are likely to do it with fear or even choose not to do it at all, at which point you cease to exercise your nature.

In a sense rights are nothing but recognitions. This also fits with the issue of demand above as if an animal isn't capable of self-recognition it then isn't capable of having rights. So where exactly do rights come into existence? The moment anyone, including the being in question, recognizes itself (becomes self aware). Then it has rights.

But if it doesn't demand them nobody else will know it has rights and so those rights will be violated. It is however, I would guess, natural for someone who recognizes his rights, to also demand that others recognize them too, until someone gets the message. :)

But I could be wrong. Maybe the rights begin with the demand instead of with self-recognition?

Quote from: JAC
I agree that man creates himself, his value, his life, and that he must mold himself through his own radical freedom as a human being, but I don't see how you can conclude that, morally, rights need to be guaranteed because, otherwise, man can not BE man.  I am confused on that.  Perhaps you could explicate? What does this "full being" consist of?  How do you define it?  And in what way can such teleology ("goal seeking") be used to justify rights?

I suppose because without someone's recognition of those rights he could be denied to continue building himself and being himself. "Full being" is just whatever he would be if he kept choosing for himself instead of being forced (or scared) into choosing otherwise - full self-empowerment. Maybe that and the above helps explain what I mean.

I wouldn't throw out the possibility that I'm confused as well though.  :blush:

Quote from: JAC
By your logic that means it is man's RIGHT to treat animals as property because it is necessary for his existence; for him to BE who he is.

Well that may be where the dilemma is coming from...(if animals too have property rights then we're in conflict). It's what would challenge the voluntaryist paradigm and give way to my debaters theory, that we're all in constant violation. I still refused to accept it because I was thinking I'd rather take a chance that it's possible at this point in time to find a way to respect both the property of animals and that of our own, hence so called "interspecies voluntaryism" - treat them as equal.

But I guess so long as any non-humans don't demand rights.. we aren't going to reach that point.

Quote from: JAC
They are.  Rights derive from property, but if I can't protect my property then I lose my rights.  Hence the danger of this huge governmental, non-consensual authority parading around violating people's rights and robbing them of their means to defend those rights.

I think that's a little different than saying might makes right, at least in that the might here is limited only to your own might, or ability to defend yourself. Another way of saying "might makes right" is to say that whoever has the most guns can not only deny the existence of someone's rights, but also MAKE them into existent or non-existent. Basically, government would be equated with some sort of a god that decides who and what you are and can be.

I don't think "might makes right" in that sense. Instead I think "my might makes my right but your might cannot make my right".

Quote from: JAC
It is not a matter of "You have the rights that [external force X] lets you have"; it is a matter of "You have the rights that [external force X] hasn't, yet, taken from you."

Well I think we agree. The way I'd put is perhaps only semantically different; that you have rights always, but they're of no use to you if someone other than you doesn't recognize them and instead denies them and acts on that denial to steal from you, coerce you to do or don't do something or kill you. I'd say the biggest reason why I tend to insist I have rights regardless of whether someone else agrees or not is because to say otherwise feels like a slippery slope towards essentially throwing myself to the mercy of others. So I'd rather say I always have rights, even when they're violated, than to say that I have rights only so long as they're not violated.

In the interest of not making this reply any longer I'll reply to other posts separately. :)

Logged

memenode

  • Mischievous
  • **
  • Karma: 31
  • Posts: 288
  • Web publisher with a mission.
    • DoublePlusHuman
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2008, 04:36 PM NHFT »

Quote from: sandm000
Add to this world Men, apes, cetaceans, and "intelligent" machinery. What rights exist external of these beings? Rights are conceptual in nature and wholly dependent on the existence of the being in question who claims that it has rights.

Exactly. That's largely consistent with what I mean. No being no right, to start simple. Going further, if the being exists, but doesn't actually know it exists, still no right because it's not even capable of conceptualizing a "right". But if it IS self aware it becomes capable of self-recognition and therefore it becomes more possible that it will conceptualize its rights too and begin demanding others to recognize it as well.

It somehow seems illogical or unintuitive then to say that rights exist depending on what an entity external to the one in question believes or says or does.

Quote from: sandm000
As to the rights of the animals, only you can decide, for yourself, what animals to respect the "Rights" of.  You can try to convince others by any means, save initiated force, to accept your list of animals as worthy of respect.

Agreed. I've pretty much decided that I can't expect myself to try so hard to respect a right of an animal before I actually see it demand it of myself. But personally, regardless, I very much dislike torturing animals or killing for no good reason and would likely ostracise people who do that.

Quote from: sandm000
Do you not believe that machines at some point may become sentient?

I definitely do and I think it's closer than many might expect. I'm not sure what will happen to rapid technological progress we've been seeing in the last decades due to this ongoing economic crisis, but if the world's economies remain sufficiently free to innovate I'm pretty convinced strong AI (involving eventually self-aware artificial intelligence) could emerge sooner or later. It's practically a matter of duplicating a human brain processes. See Blue Brain Project for example.

And yes, if they exhibit self-awareness and start to demand rights, I think voluntaryism must be extended to them.

Logged

Josh

  • Friend of the State's Enemies and Opponents
  • Independent Thinker
  • *
  • Karma: 23
  • Posts: 192
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2008, 05:04 PM NHFT »

There is a population of Timber Rattlesnakes in New Hampshire. There is only one population (as far as I know).
Does the land owner have the "Right" to exterminate this population, thus causing its extinction in the state (as happened in Maine)?

Animal rights are an issue I have some internal conflict over as it relates to libertarianism and voluntaryism, and I would be very interested in other peoples' thoughts on the matter.



And as a side note, snakes are incredibly amazing animals.

So stop hating them. :)
Logged

memenode

  • Mischievous
  • **
  • Karma: 31
  • Posts: 288
  • Web publisher with a mission.
    • DoublePlusHuman
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2008, 08:04 PM NHFT »

Quote from: Josh
Does the land owner have the "Right" to exterminate this population, thus causing its extinction in the state (as happened in Maine)?

In principle I suppose yes, but if this is a big enough concern by those other than the owner there is a possibility of buying the property of him to someone who would make a better use of it (like for tourism). The higher an offer the higher the chances that he'd sell. And if you don't have enough money you can organize a compaign to pool money for it (donations by people who care to save those snakes too and trust that you wont exterminate them).

So this is one way in which one can act on behalf of animals without violating the rights of the human.

As for hating snakes.. I wouldn't say I really hate them, but I'd be very uneasy near them. :P Nevertheless, if someone did a mentioned campaign and really shown to care about the issue, and I had some extra money I would consider donating for such a cause too, if anything then to show how nicely a free market can work in such issues. :)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 08:07 PM NHFT by gu3st »
Logged

Josh

  • Friend of the State's Enemies and Opponents
  • Independent Thinker
  • *
  • Karma: 23
  • Posts: 192
Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2008, 08:12 PM NHFT »

The land can not be purchased. Unfortunately. But everything is fine, and looks like it will continue to be so in the future. This is just the real world scenario I wanted to bring up for the purposes of the discussion.

I think it would be wrong to intrude on the land owner's rights to benefit the snakes, but the snake population is also incredibly fragile.

As it stands now, snakes and land owner are coexisting admirably  :snake:
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up