Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Harvin87, Feb 9, 2010.
I thought you were joking, considering your proposal
What, do you refuse to eat pork? Pigs are smarter than dogs, considering that they are self-aware and dogs are not.
I want to ask if you would feel the same if it was a human, but I suppose that is quite different, since it's the same specie as you...
But more seriously: Don't you feel any sympathy with other species?
I disagree. But I think maybe you're misunderstanding me a bit. I'll try to elaborate.
I've never said that we can't kill animals of course, and my stance of "kill without needlessly inflicting pain" is something I believe everyone can live by.
Yes, and those pests should be killed fast and painlessly - to the farmer's ability of course. I'm not asking people to run around trying to catch birds and give them a sedative before they shoot them, but simply to do their best to shoot and kill instantly, and not letting the animals suffer needlessly.
Those aren't accidents of course, and killing animals is not something I'm against. However, if you have to kill a wolf, bear, moose or deer, then it should be done with a good shot that will have a high probability of killing instantly.
And indeed, a hunters license requires that you are that good a marksman before you are allowed to hunt!
As a side note, I would also like to state that I'm against hunting animals to extinction, but that is a bit off topic.
Well yes, as Winner crudely tried to say, the more violence and suffering one experience, the more tolerant towards it one becomes. But that is a positive statement, and not a normative one.
I'm fully aware of how nature works, but I disagree that such knowledge makes it reasonable for me to tolerate that a sentient (i.e. can feel pain) being is needlessly inflicted with stress and pain. Especially when the only reason is entertainment!
But as I see it, torturing animals is wrong. And thus I would like to put pressure on other people to stop doing it, even to the point of imposing such a limit on other people. Quite a human thing to do I suppose, and it's also quite human to resist such a change for those who agree.
Then again, from my point of view, inflicting needless pain on an animal is the same as inflicting needless pain on a human. There are times when one need to kill an animal (food, skin, fur, etc) and there are times when one needs to kill a human (defending life and property, fighting a war, etc). And there are times when one need to inflict pain on an animal (when one can't kill it instantly for instance) and there are times when one need to inflict pain on a human (some emergency operations for instance).
But to inflict pain on a sentient being without it being needed is evil, and should be banned!
Seconded - as well as everything else you said.
Competition over natural resources is far fiercer between humans themselves than between humans and animals. And we kill each other all the time as well. What you said is no reason to differentiate between humans and animals.
@Yeekim and Cheetah:
But - and this is a point I know I've stressed in prior discussions - how should it be banned? How can it be banned?
Make it illegal? I've seen that tried in my own country. The population of a village decided to ignore it. The local police ignored it, because it certainly couldn't arrest everyone. The government ignored it, because it wasn't about to cause a local popular revolt over the killing of a few bulls. The law in question became ridiculous and other people started ignoring it openly (something which they had always been doing discreetly). The end result was that they got a change in the law specifically exempting the original village, and the talk about the inconvenient subject ceased.
Let's assume that the government would choose not to ignore it. They would have to send in riot police to the village. They would have to arrest anyone who openly defied the law, taking part on the bullfight. And people were making a point of going ahead with it and opposing the police, if necessary. Where would it end? If they were released the next day, they'd go ahead with the bullfight then. Arrest them forever? Arrest fellow humans for the sake of "protecting bulls"? Of perhaps beat up a few dozen until they were terrified enough to obey the law? Or kill few as an example? Ah, but I'm forgetting, any such thing (state terrorism, essentially) would be a violation of human rights. And something no government (hopefully) can get away with in a civilized country, at least not over such frivolous issues.
So, how far should a government go in defense of animal rights? As far as trampling human rights? That's get the animal rights enforced. Anything else would, and has, been defeated by sufficiently determined people.
Excessive virtue is indistinguishable from sin. The would-be banners and censurers of anything are always, in their own eyes, virtuous people who but defend the "common good". I'm not saying that nothing should be banned, but do keep this in mind, and think of the consequences of any law before demanding it.
Why not? Humans have always been a priori considered different from any other group of animals. We treat them differently in just about every daily activity. The question, therefore, is why should we treat them equally regarding killing, not why we do treat them differently.
I don't see how we can cogently condemn bullfighting (or any blood sport) whilst remaining meat-eaters.
When I sit down to eat my freshly cooked sirloin steak I am not eating for sustenance. I can live perfectly well off a vegetarian diet. I am eating meat because I enjoy meat. I am essentially saying that that little bit of extra pleasure from taking a bite of sirloin completely justifies killing. That morally, the few seconds pleasure I get from the flesh I so fancifully fry fully compensates for taking the life of an innocent creature.
Murder is pretty bad. Morally one would say that it's one of the worst things one can possibly do. The fact that we completely reject the idea that meat eating is morally reprehensible clearly shows we don't apply moral value to cattle. Morally they're not worth anything otherwise we couldn't possibly justify killing them. Killing them for a tiny bit of pleasure.
Concurrently it can't possibly matter that we garner pleasure from watching a bull fight. If our pleasure from meat eating is justified than surely our pleasure from such theatre is justified. Of course we could never justify such a thing if cattle had moral worth but we obviously repudiate the idea that cattle have moral worth. If we didn't we could never justify raising them, pumping them chock full of steroids, imprisoning them and finally butchering them.
If we're fine with that we can't object to bloodsports.
The cow that the steak you're eating came from wasn't killed while a bunch of people sat around and cheered on while some guy slowly tortured it to death.
@innonimatu are you saying that a bullfighting ban is unenforceable?
No, I'd say that any ban is enforceable, if you're willing to go far enough to enforce it. And have the power to do so, obviously.
What I question is how far is it justifiable to go in order to ban bullfights. And that also depends on the place, of course: banning bullfights in the Sweden would be a non-issue, for example, because no swedes are likely to challenge such law. Banning bullfights in Spain is virtually impossible, unless you want to pull some Franco-style repression...
It's not about moral relativist, it's about circumstantial relativism. The morals we apply, as observers, may be the same in both cases:you may want to protect humans, and you may want to protect animals (and this because most humans want it done). And you likely think that protecting humans is more important than protecting animals. Using the example above, it seems to me that the vast majority of swedes and spaniards would agree on that also. But banning bullfights would not cause conflicts among humans in Sweden, while it certainly would in Spain. Therefore, morally, it would be a good idea to ban bullfights in Sweden, but a bad idea to try to do so in Spain.
This is likely to change, as when supporters of bullfighting become a tiny minority in Spain (they already are a small minority) I have no doubt that the self-righteous majority will have no qualms about crushing any feeble resistance they may put up, of course. That's the way the world works, morality and logic be damned...
But in addition to this I also have my own moral and practical reasons to defend bullfighting in this discussion: morally, in my ideal world a person would not demand that another cease doing something which caused no harm to another person, and that is why I'll always defend the right of others to organize bullfights, against any moral arguments from others whose sensibilities are offended. Is offending sensibilities harm? A "trauma", as someone claimed? I mean, what can't you protest and demand to be banned because "it's horrifying"? Accepting that as a valid argument is granting pressure groups and governments a blank check for the banning of anything they dislike!
But like.. can't you just stop the bullfights? Would people start rioting in the streets?
I don't even think people would start rioting in Canada if hockey became illegal, and we kinda love our hockey.
Murder is wrong. Gladiatorial games are wrong. Torture is wrong.
Now I think it arguable that bullfighting is straight-up torture. Certainly other bloodsports aren't. Nevertheless I'm prepared to accept it for the sake of arguments; bullfighting is torturous.
Is torture worse then murder? I think that very contentious. I think most people would prefer torture rather than death. Certainly a lot of people are perfectly happy to inflict torture when they would blanch at murder. Nevertheless, I suppose bullfighting is torture followed by murder, that's two bad things so its twice as bad, right?
Of course, this isn't a very good argument. If torture and murder are anywhere in the same order of magnitude of 'wrongness' we shouldn't accept either. To draw a comparison, we think killing people and torturing people are both very bad indeed. We don't think any better of the murderer because some people torture their victims before murder. Both events are morally reprehensible and utterly repugnant to society.
In terms of bullfighting, if torturing a bull is morally reprehensible than killing a bull is likewise. Conversely if killing a bull is perfectly fine then there can't be much wrong with torturing said bull. If the former isn't morally repugnant then we simply don't apply moral worth to cattle, consequently the latter is not morally repugnant. Both actions are performed for completely trivial ends and we would refrain from both if we felt we should treat cattle morally. Since we won't, we clearly don't.
If they feel like they are a clear majority, they will (in a free country where the state institutions are limited in how far they can repress the population) simply ignore and ridicule the law. If they are a regional majority, likewise. If they are a disperse but relatively big minority, they'll fight back and the harm caused will far outdo the good intention of the law. If they are a small minority most or even all will bow down immediately, or after a few get beaten and/or arrested.
That small minorities can be forced to bow down to state-enacted purely moralistic and subjective laws is not a good thing, at least in my opinion. If you look at most of the provisions in the declaration of human rights, they're there precisely to protect people against that kind of thing. Those things which we do ban, for example murder, or corruption, or bad sanitary practices, are not banned just because someone may be offended by it, but because they harm other people. And that is the sole moral basis I'm willing to accept for laws. And event with that we should be very careful - it is far too easy to pass bad laws "for the protection of the citizens".
Again, if the argument that bullfighting should be banned just because some people are "horrified" or "traumatized" because of it is acceptable, what about freedom or religion, expression, etc - some people get horrified and traumatized other those things all the time, as well!
You make some good points.
The main (and possibly only) reason I oppose bullfighting is because it involves an unnecessary infliction of pain to a living being (which can feel it).
It's not a question of what's worse than what - I just don't think it should be legal to torture (or whatever you wanna call it) an animal which is capable of feeling that pain.
It's just a personal ethical view.. I have no idea if any groups support it, if it's a part of some larger ethical view that's written down somewhere, or whatever. It just seems right to me, and I think you'd find that I'm consistent across the board if you presented me with some hypothetical scenarios (torturing pets? bad. torturing a deer in a forest for fun? bad. killing cows for beef? not bad. killing cows for beef with unnecessary pain? bad. etc.)
It might seem idealistic, but the only reason bullfighting isn't banned in Spain is because whichever party did it would not get many votes in the next election. It's a popular thing, a big part of Spanish culture, so it's gonna stay with us for a while longer, until people grow out of it or the EU steps in and causes some crap with their idealistic views about the humane treatment of biological entities.
But how can you ignore the law if there are no more bullfights going on in the first place?
The owners of the venues where bullfighting takes place would defy a new law? Wouldn't they want to continue to make money instead, and focus on other events?
Here in Vegas I went to a "bloodless" bull fight.
It involved a lot of slapping a bull in the face with bare hands.
It was awesome, and no I am not making this up.
Anyway, real bull fighting is not much worse than a slaughter house, and I eat meat - so I am not going to sit here and be a hypocrite.
I will say this though! Mexican rodeos are very cool and as far as I know the mainstream stuff that is on TV in Mexico treats the animals well.
I couldn't find anything on youtube, but there is a lot of cool stuff. My favorite being when the riders try to go 100 meters as fast as they can and stop in a 5 meter wide square at the end, it's awesome.
Slapping of bulls in the face is okay.
Are you calling me a hypocrite?
It doesn't take much to organize a bullfight. The example I mentioned above, from Portugal, was Barrancos, a tiny municipality (the whole has less that 2000 inhabitants) in the border with Spain. The bullfights happened during the week when that small town had its yearly festivities, and was community organized. The courts tried to fine, and later the police tried to arrest, the organizers, but no one would give away who they were. The local police knew, of course, but they too would not cooperate.
There's a nice analysis of the outcome of that situation on this paper. It's only available in portuguese, but I can post the abstract:
It was very interesting to observe also that in Portugal the very same groups (the extreme "leftists") who are most vocal about defending the cultural rights of some population in a foreign far-away country were the ones demanding that the government enforce the ban on that bullfight in Barrancos, against the resistance of the local population. And caring not for the means necessary, apparently. Those were hypocrites.
Under those circumstances, either you apply the full weight of state power to repress the whole community until it breaks (technically easy enough, but politically impossible, and I'm glad for that!) or you give up.
In the city, or at any rate in more "civilized" regions, state power can be, ans is, exercise in more subtle ways, as you suggested above: make it unprofitable to organize some event, and in the absence of community organization it works... and that is one of the dark aspects of our "civilization" - how easy it is to manipulate people and events by just controlling the money and the regulations.
That's all actually pretty interesting. I didn't know that villages and rural regions organized their own bullfighting events.
A ban in larger cities seems feasible and enforceable, at least. In the villages, I agree with you, you'd end up having to arrest way too many people and criminalize way too many communities to make it a good idea.. in the cities though.. what's stopping them there?
nothing, they just not want to do it, bullfighting at least if we speak about Mexico and Spain is a very popular party... and if the government tries to stop it , it would be a very unpopular decision.
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