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Author Topic: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism  (Read 2173 times)

MaineShark

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2008, 10:04 AM NHFT »

Animals don't have rights.  People do.

An animal becomes a "person" when it is able to engage in reason.  A reasoning being, for example, does not violate the self-ownership of others.

The real trouble comes from the fact that a given species may contain both animals and people as members.  Such is the case with homo sapiens.  Given that there are these creatures, some of whom are persons with rights, and others of whom are animals without rights, but all of whom look roughly similar, the non-aggression principle was developed.

In any species which contains a mix of people and animals (and exempting telepathic ability), you cannot know which is which, and must wait until a given individual demonstrates animal behavior before force can be used.  A species which is all people would be a non-issue, because they would never initiate force against others.  A species which is all animals can be treated as such.  The only issue occurs when there is a mix within a given species, and we must give potential animals the benefit of the doubt, because wrongfully using force against a person would be a terrible thing.

On a slight tangent, this is why restitution, rather than punishment, is the only source of justice.  You can punish an animal, but punishing an animal is about controlling its behavior, not seeking justice - justice doesn't apply to non-persons.  If an individual makes restitution (or offers to do so) for a harm caused to another being, then s/he is demonstrating personhood.  Once that individual has made the choice to be a person, s/he must be accorded all the rights of a person, and keeping that individual locked in a cage is fresh aggression against that person.

Joe
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Giggan

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2008, 02:34 PM NHFT »

So does a person who cannot reason have no rights?

I believe they do.
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MaineShark

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2008, 04:05 PM NHFT »

So does a person who cannot reason have no rights?

I believe they do.

An individual who currently cannot reason, or an individual who is utterly incapable?

Someone who was injured (for example) might regain his ability to reason.  If, on the other hand, you were decapitated and some miracle of medical technology kept your body alive, it would not be a person, because it would be utterly incapable of ever attaining reason.

Joe
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Josh

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2008, 06:11 PM NHFT »

One thing I love about the liberty philosophy is the abundance of objectivity. Emotion rarely plays a role in knowing what is right and wrong.

However, I make a significant portion of my living working with animals, and in that sense I am a leftist commie pinko. (PETA aside. Screw those bastards.)
I believe it is immoral to, say, extirpate the only population of timber rattlesnakes in the state. I believe there should be some way to guarantee this won't happen. However, I also strongly believe in property rights.

This is my great dilemma.

The money is not available to preserve the population, it is voluntary on the part of the current land owner. I am thrilled that they are so cooperative.

Perhaps some sort of plan or "dibs on the property" should be worked out in the event that it is made available for sale? But that doesn't do anything in solving this dilemma in other areas where the land may be owned by someone less willing to preserve the habitat.

Argh.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2008, 06:22 PM NHFT »

The money is not available to preserve the population, it is voluntary on the part of the current land owner. I am thrilled that they are so cooperative.

Perhaps some sort of plan or "dibs on the property" should be worked out in the event that it is made available for sale?

If he’s inclined to protect them while he owns the property, perhaps he’d be willing to put that into the deed if he ever sells it—that the future landowner must (as a matter of contractual agreement) continue to protect them, and furthermore must pass on such restriction to any other future owners, in perpetuity.

Since such a deed restriction would no doubt lower the value of the property, perhaps concerned individuals such as yourself and others could offer to pay him enough money to make up the difference.
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Josh

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2008, 06:25 PM NHFT »

Perfect. I'm not sure if he'd be willing, but given that it's a commercial property used for the resources of the property, I don't see it having much value after the company is done with it.
This is sort of what I meant by 'dibs', or some sort of arrangement for when the company is done with the property.

You all rock :)
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2008, 06:28 PM NHFT »

Perfect. I'm not sure if he'd be willing, but given that it's a commercial property used for the resources of the property, I don't see it having much value after the company is done with it.
This is sort of what I meant by 'dibs', or some sort of arrangement for when the company is done with the property.

You all rock :)

The concept of a “deed restriction” is a fairly common practice, especially for conservation purposes.

New Hampshire also has what they call “current use,” which a property owner can elect to apply to a portion (or all) of his property, which places restrictions on what can be done with it (basically, no development), which severely reduces one’s property taxes, too.
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Josh

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2008, 06:32 PM NHFT »

That's awesome. I hadn't even thought to look into this.

Thanks!
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Giggan

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2008, 07:46 PM NHFT »

An individual who currently cannot reason, or an individual who is utterly incapable?

Someone who was injured (for example) might regain his ability to reason.  If, on the other hand, you were decapitated and some miracle of medical technology kept your body alive, it would not be a person, because it would be utterly incapable of ever attaining reason.

Joe

Decapitated guy makes sense...if he has lost the ability to reason and it is incapable of being regained, I'd say they've lost their humanity. I guess the injured guy would fall into the same category as children, too small to logically determine realities, yet capable of doing so in te future. They certainly have most negative liberty, and with children I'd say there's a certain level of positive liberty they have as well (needs for survival, I would not include education as a duty owed by the parents, though I recommend it). I'm still undecided on this, the animal rights thing. I believe they should be protected from suffering, I just can't think of a non-coercive way of asserting this.

EDIT: Besides ostracizing people who do torture animals. Simple free-market solution.
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MaineShark

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Re: Animal rights and interspecies voluntaryism
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2008, 08:16 PM NHFT »

I believe it is immoral to, say, extirpate the only population of timber rattlesnakes in the state. I believe there should be some way to guarantee this won't happen. However, I also strongly believe in property rights.

J'raxis addressed the practical way to handle such a situation (or attempt to, anyway).

On a philosophical level, though, it's not possible for an animal to have rights.  Animals are not moral actors.  That's a double-edged sword, as well: just as no good or evil can be done to an animal, an animal cannot be good or evil.  If a rattlesnake bites you, it has not done wrong, because it is outside the realm of right and wrong.

I'm still undecided on this, the animal rights thing. I believe they should be protected from suffering, I just can't think of a non-coercive way of asserting this.

EDIT: Besides ostracizing people who do torture animals. Simple free-market solution.

That is the only solution for aesthetically-displeasing, yet moral behavior.  Like you and Josh and many others, I find those who abuse animals to be disgusting, and I want nothing to do with them.  My personal disgust for such behavior does not rise to the level of morality, though.

For example, if it were necessary to do some extremely-painful experiment on an animal in order to save a child's life, I would not blink at doing so, although I would certainly wish there had been some other way.  On the other hand, there cannot exist a situation in which I would put a child in that animal's place.  Not to save another child, or ten, or a million, or a billion.  Violating that child's self-ownership would be immoral, regardless of the stakes.  Hurting an animal is aesthetically displeasing, so I would seek to avoid doing it, but if the stakes outweighed my displeasure, I would do so without hesitation.

Joe
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