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"Because we can," ethics in scientific experiments

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Posts

  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.

    So you'll just let a bunch of people in poor countries die? and horses will pretty much die out.

    Let's stop eating meat, or using farming practices that kill lots of animals (pretty much all of them). You know who's going to suffer the most from that? Black people (well, compared to white people)

    Isn't that choosing between animals and black people?

    We don't live in a world where we can currently stop depending on animals. The US is lucky,in that they're a lot less dependent on "biological" labour, as no one cares about the machine's feelings.

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.

    So you'll just let a bunch of people in poor countries die? and horses will pretty much die out.

    Let's stop eating meat, or using farming practices that kill lots of animals (pretty much all of them). You know who's going to suffer the most from that? Black people (well, compared to white people)

    Isn't that choosing between animals and black people?

    We don't live in a world where we can currently stop depending on animals. The US is lucky,in that they're a lot less dependent on "biological" labour, as no one cares about the machine's feelings.
    Nope, we should just buy farm equipment for the people in poor countries. For the price of one war in the Middle East or whatever, we could free them from the need to use horses as slaves. Horses as a species might not die out (I think wild horses exist? Yes?) but there would certainly be very few horses, yes. I'm not sure why that would be a problem. Maybe if you really love horses but not enough to care if they're slaves! I'm not in that position.

    I actually think painlessly killing an animal isn't a big deal for some kind of animals, at least, so we might not need to all be vegans, but for simplicity's sake let's say we do, and that we have to alter farming practices. Oh well! You know who else had to alter farming practices? Every society that used slaves on farms! Cannibalistic societies also needed to change their eating habits but you know, that's life. If black people suffer disproportionately from turning into vegans then I guess it sucks to be black, although that doesn't seem to be news to me!

    If we don't live in a world where we can stop depending on animals, then we're in a tough situation and we have to do the cost benefit analysis. I think that's pretty ludicrous. In rich countries we can easily stop depending on animals in a lot of ways and in poor countries we haven't even stopped depending on slavery (hell, we haven't even stopped that in rich countries either but that's another issue). I'm not saying that doing the right thing is easy. A lot of people treat moral argumentation as an opportunity to justify almost entirely the things they happen to be doing, taking as an assumption, implicitly or explicitly, the idea that morality cannot require anything that's too different from the status quo. That seems like an odd assumption to me because we can go back a few thousand years and whoops, if we tried to do that, we'd be justifying a lot of horrible shit! So it seems like maybe today we're doing a lot of horrible shit that we ought to cut out.
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.
    Julius wrote: »
    Think about two kinds of wrong. Prima facie wrong and all things considered wrong. Prima facie wrong means "wrong unless other things outweigh it." Poking someone in the eye is prima facie wrong because it causes them pain. All things considered wrong means "wrong no matter what." Poking someone in the eye purely for fun when there will be no beneficial consequences and the person will suffer severe eye trauma is all things considered wrong, because it causes them pain and there's no other reason to do it.

    Infant surgery is prima facie wrong because it causes them pain but all things considered not wrong because it has a very good aim: saving them from further pain or from death, which many consider to be worse than pain. Infant surgery to save SOMEONE ELSE (taking an infant's heart and giving it to yourself so that you can have a nice shiny new heart) is much harder to justify: it's prima facie wrong to cause that infant pain, and all things considered it might still be wrong to take a babie's heart for yourself.

    I think non-human animals are similarly situated to babies. It's not OBVIOUSLY wrong to experiment on them, but if you think it's all things considered wrong to use babies for medical experiments then you should think it's obviously wrong to use rats.

    Yeah but this is ethics where we only consider the latter kind of wrong. prima facie wrongs are merely a good summary of rules, to know whether something is actually morally wrong you must consider all things (or all things that you deem important).

    Thing is, you're going with the only thing needed to be considered is personal harm and consent. I think there are a lot of other considerations that can be made.
    Yes, lots of other considerations, blah blah blah etc. Which of these count in favor of using non-human animals for medical experiments that we wouldn't use humans in? I want to argue that these reasons do not withstand scrutiny.

    The greater good.
    That's really underspecified! Why does the greater good tell us that it's okay to use non-human animals in science experiments that we wouldn't use humans for?

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.

    So you'll just let a bunch of people in poor countries die? and horses will pretty much die out.

    Let's stop eating meat, or using farming practices that kill lots of animals (pretty much all of them). You know who's going to suffer the most from that? Black people (well, compared to white people)

    Isn't that choosing between animals and black people?

    We don't live in a world where we can currently stop depending on animals. The US is lucky,in that they're a lot less dependent on "biological" labour, as no one cares about the machine's feelings.
    Nope, we should just buy farm equipment for the people in poor countries. For the price of one war in the Middle East or whatever, we could free them from the need to use horses as slaves. Horses as a species might not die out (I think wild horses exist? Yes?) but there would certainly be very few horses, yes. I'm not sure why that would be a problem. Maybe if you really love horses but not enough to care if they're slaves! I'm not in that position.

    I actually think painlessly killing an animal isn't a big deal for some kind of animals, at least, so we might not need to all be vegans, but for simplicity's sake let's say we do, and that we have to alter farming practices. Oh well! You know who else had to alter farming practices? Every society that used slaves on farms! Cannibalistic societies also needed to change their eating habits but you know, that's life. If black people suffer disproportionately from turning into vegans then I guess it sucks to be black, although that doesn't seem to be news to me!

    If we don't live in a world where we can stop depending on animals, then we're in a tough situation and we have to do the cost benefit analysis. I think that's pretty ludicrous. In rich countries we can easily stop depending on animals in a lot of ways and in poor countries we haven't even stopped depending on slavery (hell, we haven't even stopped that in rich countries either but that's another issue). I'm not saying that doing the right thing is easy. A lot of people treat moral argumentation as an opportunity to justify almost entirely the things they happen to be doing, taking as an assumption, implicitly or explicitly, the idea that morality cannot require anything that's too different from the status quo. That seems like an odd assumption to me because we can go back a few thousand years and whoops, if we tried to do that, we'd be justifying a lot of horrible shit! So it seems like maybe today we're doing a lot of horrible shit that we ought to cut out.
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.
    Julius wrote: »
    Think about two kinds of wrong. Prima facie wrong and all things considered wrong. Prima facie wrong means "wrong unless other things outweigh it." Poking someone in the eye is prima facie wrong because it causes them pain. All things considered wrong means "wrong no matter what." Poking someone in the eye purely for fun when there will be no beneficial consequences and the person will suffer severe eye trauma is all things considered wrong, because it causes them pain and there's no other reason to do it.

    Infant surgery is prima facie wrong because it causes them pain but all things considered not wrong because it has a very good aim: saving them from further pain or from death, which many consider to be worse than pain. Infant surgery to save SOMEONE ELSE (taking an infant's heart and giving it to yourself so that you can have a nice shiny new heart) is much harder to justify: it's prima facie wrong to cause that infant pain, and all things considered it might still be wrong to take a babie's heart for yourself.

    I think non-human animals are similarly situated to babies. It's not OBVIOUSLY wrong to experiment on them, but if you think it's all things considered wrong to use babies for medical experiments then you should think it's obviously wrong to use rats.

    Yeah but this is ethics where we only consider the latter kind of wrong. prima facie wrongs are merely a good summary of rules, to know whether something is actually morally wrong you must consider all things (or all things that you deem important).

    Thing is, you're going with the only thing needed to be considered is personal harm and consent. I think there are a lot of other considerations that can be made.
    Yes, lots of other considerations, blah blah blah etc. Which of these count in favor of using non-human animals for medical experiments that we wouldn't use humans in? I want to argue that these reasons do not withstand scrutiny.

    The greater good.
    That's really underspecified! Why does the greater good tell us that it's okay to use non-human animals in science experiments that we wouldn't use humans for?

    it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    Only if the strongest people are so strong that we as a society can't stop them. If gods walk among us and do whatever they please and we cannot stop them, what value in calling them wrong?

    Possibly, none. But that doesn't mean that what they're doing isn't wrong. Consider a parallel: suppose that I am a medieval courtesan, and furthermore that my king smells intolerably bad. What is the value in saying so? Possibly, none. If I say so, he may kill me for my insolence. But the fact that there is no point in saying so doesn't mean that it isn't true that my king smells bad. All that's required for my king to smell bad is that he does, in fact, smell bad. In just the same way, the gods who walk among us might be wrong even though there is no point in saying so. All that's required for them to be wrong is that they are in fact wrong.

    But what does that even mean? A minority group should always say that what the majority does that harms or disadvantages them is wrong, but is that a reason for the majority to stop? We don't want a tyranny of the minority, do we?

    I seems to me that calling something wrong is a normative judgement, but what value are normative judgements that don't impact behavior?
    Lucid wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    I think there are only two bad things in the world: 1) my own pain (whether direct or indirect) and 2) my reasonable anticipation of pain. I think this means I should keep others from being hurt to the extent their hurt will upset me (empathy) or to the extent their hurt may lead to my own hurt. Since I do not fear retaliation from animals for experimenting on them, I have no reason not to do so other than it making me upset.

    This seems similar to solipsism. If you only view your own pain as bad, how does this involve 'the world'?

    I don't think this is solipsism at all, because you see your own pain or the anticipation of your pain as bad, as does everyone else. This is the mindset that enables us to exist as a society (we all make sacrifices to lessen the situations in which we expect to be hurt) and I also allows for self sacrifice (it may hurt me more to see my love ones suffer than to sacrifice myself).

    Note, I said 'similar to' in that you've claimed that there are two bad things in 'the world', which are those feelings limited to your own inner domain. I mean, yes, technically you exist in the world, but your pain isn't really experienced by the world. If only your pain is bad, it seems to suggest that the pain of others doesn't come into consideration, unless it also makes you feel bad. This seems to be denying the tangibility of others pain in some weird way.

    You mention that seeing your own pain as bad is what enables us to exist as a society, you don't believe that anyone sees others pain as bad, only their own? That seems like something difficult to prove on your part.
    Well, we won't accept your future if (1) we have reason to fear that we could one day fall into the other 49.99% or (2) it is so appalling to the 50.01% don't want to do it. I think that (2) is a very compelling reason why we would not do so.

    I think my stance on drugs is completely consistent with what I'm saying here. I don't value the pleasure people obtain from them and so don't want anyone to use them, including myself for a number of reasons, one of which is the "harm" of being inconvienced by users. I don't fear being subject to similiar restrictions (I'd be fine with alcohol being banned) and my empathy does not make me feel bad for those who can't use them because of the ban.

    I think the implication is that in V1m's scenario, you don't have reason to fear falling into the other half. Why would you find it appalling at this point, if you're only concerned about your own pain? You're in the group that's benefiting from the pain of the others.

    In terms of drugs, the inconvenience you mention, how does this override the pleasure experience of others? I can't imagine you actually being significantly inconvenienced, so why should others, under your own logic surrounding pain, care about what you feel?

    If I am not affected by someone else's pain, then when would I want to apply the normative label "wrong" to it at all? Either it bothers me so I think it is wrong (this is based on my feelings about the situation and wanting the situation to be better to alleviate my feelings) or that pain is not causing me any distress in which case, why label it wrong or anything else? Calling somethign which I don't even disagree with or register any reaction from as "wrong" seems very arbitrary.

    Because I might have empathy and look at these people, see the similarity between myself and them, and not want to see them hurt (i.e., be hurt myself by the fact that it upsets me). I think a lot of the problem here is people are not recognizing how strong I think empathy is as a motivation.

    With drugs, if people using them provides me with even a mote of unhappiness and I don't feel compassion towards the people who lose out on their pleasures, banning them is a net win for me. It doesn't matter if the benefit to me is small, its still a gain for me, as long as I don't fear that something I care about will also be lost. Similiarly, I don't watch the big bang theory, but if someone came to me and said it was up to me if it gets cancelled or not, I would cancel it, no question, because it might possibly give community (a show I love) a bump in the ratings. I know that other people would be upset it was cancelled, but I don't see that as a reason not to cancel it. If, on the other hand, my choice was a world where random people got to cancel shows or one where this did not occur, I would choose the latter, because I don't value cancelling the big bang theory enough to outweigh the risk of shows I like being cancelled.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.

    So you'll just let a bunch of people in poor countries die? and horses will pretty much die out.

    Let's stop eating meat, or using farming practices that kill lots of animals (pretty much all of them). You know who's going to suffer the most from that? Black people (well, compared to white people)

    Isn't that choosing between animals and black people?

    We don't live in a world where we can currently stop depending on animals. The US is lucky,in that they're a lot less dependent on "biological" labour, as no one cares about the machine's feelings.
    Nope, we should just buy farm equipment for the people in poor countries. For the price of one war in the Middle East or whatever, we could free them from the need to use horses as slaves. Horses as a species might not die out (I think wild horses exist? Yes?) but there would certainly be very few horses, yes. I'm not sure why that would be a problem. Maybe if you really love horses but not enough to care if they're slaves! I'm not in that position.

    I actually think painlessly killing an animal isn't a big deal for some kind of animals, at least, so we might not need to all be vegans, but for simplicity's sake let's say we do, and that we have to alter farming practices. Oh well! You know who else had to alter farming practices? Every society that used slaves on farms! Cannibalistic societies also needed to change their eating habits but you know, that's life. If black people suffer disproportionately from turning into vegans then I guess it sucks to be black, although that doesn't seem to be news to me!

    If we don't live in a world where we can stop depending on animals, then we're in a tough situation and we have to do the cost benefit analysis. I think that's pretty ludicrous. In rich countries we can easily stop depending on animals in a lot of ways and in poor countries we haven't even stopped depending on slavery (hell, we haven't even stopped that in rich countries either but that's another issue). I'm not saying that doing the right thing is easy. A lot of people treat moral argumentation as an opportunity to justify almost entirely the things they happen to be doing, taking as an assumption, implicitly or explicitly, the idea that morality cannot require anything that's too different from the status quo. That seems like an odd assumption to me because we can go back a few thousand years and whoops, if we tried to do that, we'd be justifying a lot of horrible shit! So it seems like maybe today we're doing a lot of horrible shit that we ought to cut out.
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Oh I'm definitely fine with using animals in scientific testing. As long as there's a purpose, and we try our best to not do anything excessive.

    Cost/Benefit, with humans getting a heavier weighting on the Benefit side.
    Well, no, that's not okay, any more than giving white people heavier weighting on the benefit side is okay.

    See, I don't agree with the animals are equal to humans thing. Feeling pain is not the end all/be all of considerations.

    I also don't agree with equating it with racism, because it's not really (imo). Otherwise using horses as beasts of burden must be stopped, by war if necessary!

    I agree that we need to reduce the harm we do to animals (and the harm we do to humans for that matter)

    However, if I have to choose between an unknown cow and an unknown human life, I'll pick human everytime. And yes, a lot of time it's a choice between the two. Kill some rats and cure cancer, or let people die of cancer.
    Yes! We should probably stop using horses as beasts of burden! We should use cars instead! I know this sounds wacky, but it sounded wacky as fuck to say "we should stop using slaves to pick our cotton." I mean, who the fuck is going to pick the cotton if not the slaves? Let's go back in time! Do you honestly realize how many slaves there are and how much of our economy relies on slaves? I agree we need to reduce harm to slaves (and the harm we do to animals for that matter). However, if I have to choose between an unknown white person and and unknown black person, I'll pick white every time. And yes, a lot of times it's a choice between the two. Infect some black people with syphilis in the Tuskegee experiment, or let white people die of syphilis.
    Julius wrote: »
    Think about two kinds of wrong. Prima facie wrong and all things considered wrong. Prima facie wrong means "wrong unless other things outweigh it." Poking someone in the eye is prima facie wrong because it causes them pain. All things considered wrong means "wrong no matter what." Poking someone in the eye purely for fun when there will be no beneficial consequences and the person will suffer severe eye trauma is all things considered wrong, because it causes them pain and there's no other reason to do it.

    Infant surgery is prima facie wrong because it causes them pain but all things considered not wrong because it has a very good aim: saving them from further pain or from death, which many consider to be worse than pain. Infant surgery to save SOMEONE ELSE (taking an infant's heart and giving it to yourself so that you can have a nice shiny new heart) is much harder to justify: it's prima facie wrong to cause that infant pain, and all things considered it might still be wrong to take a babie's heart for yourself.

    I think non-human animals are similarly situated to babies. It's not OBVIOUSLY wrong to experiment on them, but if you think it's all things considered wrong to use babies for medical experiments then you should think it's obviously wrong to use rats.

    Yeah but this is ethics where we only consider the latter kind of wrong. prima facie wrongs are merely a good summary of rules, to know whether something is actually morally wrong you must consider all things (or all things that you deem important).

    Thing is, you're going with the only thing needed to be considered is personal harm and consent. I think there are a lot of other considerations that can be made.
    Yes, lots of other considerations, blah blah blah etc. Which of these count in favor of using non-human animals for medical experiments that we wouldn't use humans in? I want to argue that these reasons do not withstand scrutiny.

    The greater good.
    That's really underspecified! Why does the greater good tell us that it's okay to use non-human animals in science experiments that we wouldn't use humans for?

    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?

    spacekungfuman on
    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

    lepers and diabetics can't feel pain as well as others, but that doesn't mean we are permitted to beat them more. You'll probably be on a better track and context by switching over to quality of life.

    IACUC is like a subset of IRB, just like a subset of IRB panels includes an advocate for the prison population where appropriate. Among other things, they calculate the metric of harms compared to benefit for every study.

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

    lepers and diabetics can't feel pain as well as others, but that doesn't mean we are permitted to beat them more. You'll probably be on a better track and context by switching over to quality of life.

    IACUC is like a subset of IRB, just like a subset of IRB panels includes an advocate for the prison population where appropriate. Among other things, they calculate the metric of harms compared to benefit for every study.
    I have been simplifying things quite a bit, yes. We can't hit people who feel less pain even though they feel less pain. I'm not trying to go through all of ethics here. We're just supposed to be talking about non-human animals in science experiments.

    I know that they calculate harms vs. benefits, but do they calculate non-human animal harms the same as harms to humans? If I want to do XYZ to a mouse and you want to do XYZ to a non-consenting human (like a baby), would there ever be any chance of my experiment getting approved and yours getting nixed?

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

    lepers and diabetics can't feel pain as well as others, but that doesn't mean we are permitted to beat them more. You'll probably be on a better track and context by switching over to quality of life.

    IACUC is like a subset of IRB, just like a subset of IRB panels includes an advocate for the prison population where appropriate. Among other things, they calculate the metric of harms compared to benefit for every study.
    I have been simplifying things quite a bit, yes. We can't hit people who feel less pain even though they feel less pain. I'm not trying to go through all of ethics here. We're just supposed to be talking about non-human animals in science experiments.

    I know that they calculate harms vs. benefits, but do they calculate non-human animal harms the same as harms to humans? If I want to do XYZ to a mouse and you want to do XYZ to a non-consenting human (like a baby), would there ever be any chance of my experiment getting approved and yours getting nixed?

    I think you've got the hypothetical unmixed there, but yes if the proposed study would do less harm to the baby than the rat, and it would do harm to the baby under the threshold they designate or harm to the rat over the threshold they designate. Beyond that, the quality of life and the potential of the rat and the baby are taken into account. The amount of lives saved or improved and the resources better spent here than elsewhere are taken into account. If I were to design a study consisting of feeding the test subjects different optimized vaccination schedules for the baby and the rat, this would probably be nixed for the rat as an irrelevant study with no promise and unnecessary pain and would be approved for the baby as a relevant, beneficial study that carries a small amount of acceptable risk and pain to the baby and the mother for the eventual betterment of mankind. I could do a study where I feed optimal rodent diets to each group and find the opposite effect.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

    So you don't place a value on being alive, just not experiencing pain? If we had a choice of killing all the horses painlessly or making them all slaves, what would you choose? What about black people?


    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

    lepers and diabetics can't feel pain as well as others, but that doesn't mean we are permitted to beat them more. You'll probably be on a better track and context by switching over to quality of life.

    IACUC is like a subset of IRB, just like a subset of IRB panels includes an advocate for the prison population where appropriate. Among other things, they calculate the metric of harms compared to benefit for every study.
    I have been simplifying things quite a bit, yes. We can't hit people who feel less pain even though they feel less pain. I'm not trying to go through all of ethics here. We're just supposed to be talking about non-human animals in science experiments.

    I know that they calculate harms vs. benefits, but do they calculate non-human animal harms the same as harms to humans? If I want to do XYZ to a mouse and you want to do XYZ to a non-consenting human (like a baby), would there ever be any chance of my experiment getting approved and yours getting nixed?

    I think you've got the hypothetical unmixed there, but yes if the proposed study would do less harm to the baby than the rat, and it would do harm to the baby under the threshold they designate or harm to the rat over the threshold they designate. Beyond that, the quality of life and the potential of the rat and the baby are taken into account. The amount of lives saved or improved and the resources better spent here than elsewhere are taken into account. If I were to design a study consisting of feeding the test subjects different optimized vaccination schedules for the baby and the rat, this would probably be nixed for the rat as an irrelevant study with no promise and unnecessary pain and would be approved for the baby as a relevant, beneficial study that carries a small amount of acceptable risk and pain to the baby and the mother for the eventual betterment of mankind. I could do a study where I feed optimal rodent diets to each group and find the opposite effect.
    That makes sense, but what I was mostly trying to get at is stuff on the other end of the scale where the harm is grievous. So, for instance, the lab rats bred with a propensity towards cancer or some other disease we want to study. It seems like if we could give cancer or whatever to a big bunch of babies, we wouldn't, at least not unless the study was something like "we're pretty sure we can cure cancer if we just give it to some babies and that's the last time we swear." Or even stuff like non-human animals that get overfed until they are obese so we can study obesity - that seems like something we wouldn't do to humans. Am I way off base here?
    Paladin wrote: »
    [snip]it's why every single study involving animals has to go through a roundtable that does not include the potential experimenter to determine if it's really worth being done. Welcome to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
    Um... but those committees clearly don't care as much about non-human animals as they do about human babies, right? I mean, I admit that I'm ignorant about most scientific research, but I hear things like "researches bred a bunch of rats to have cancer" or "we chopped open a monkey's head and wired it up to a robotic arm to see if monkeys can control robo arms" and that sort of stuff just seems... excessive compared to what we would do to babies.
    You are putting the well being of horses ahead of black people, even though you concede that the horses will die out anyway and so the net result is poorer black people and fewer horses (probably about the same number of free horses as there are in the wild now)? And I'm the crazy one in this conversation? o_O

    Edit: If a horse killed your loved ones by accident, would you respect it's value as a living creature enough to let it live, or would you support it being put down?
    I'm not putting anyone ahead of anyone. Everything that can feel pain is basically equal when it comes to how we should dish out pain. If freedom from slavery for horses really led to such massive drawbacks for the human beings that rely on horses that it wasn't worth the cost, I could certainly understand keeping horses in slavery. That seems ludicrous to me, though. We can just buy tractors for the poor people. They don't need horse slaves any more than anyone needs human slaves.

    If a horse killed my loved ones by accident, of course I wouldn't want it put down. The horse didn't even know what the fuck it was doing! Why the fuck would I want to kill the horse? I like to think we've progressed at least past Hammurabi's Laws when it comes to morality, although of course you seem to be a big holdout in this area from what I've seen. (Incidentally, I'm not even sure if I have a problem with painlessly killing horses, so I might not care if it gets put down one way or the other - a better question would be, wouldn't I want the horse punished, say, by sending it to horse jail or by torturing it?)

    So you don't place a value on being alive, just not experiencing pain? If we had a choice of killing all the horses painlessly or making them all slaves, what would you choose? What about black people?
    This is rather beside the point for the broad strokes I'm trying to paint in for the purposes of this thread, where we're trying to figure out what sorts of experiments we can do on what sorts of living things, but if you're curious about this, one answer has already been posted in the thread twice and discussed a fair amount, because it's the answer Singer gives. Some animals, like human beings, get value from relationships with other human beings that are ongoing and depend on the specific human being. Your relationship with your wife depends on it being with your wife and not with some other human being. Other animals, like salmon, don't really give a fuck about other salmon. Killing a human being is bad because of all the relationships humans have with each other: you would be sad if I killed your wife. Killing a salmon means fuck all to other salmon and thus as long as I do it painlessly there's no problem.

    I can't remember what Singer says about the salmon that's getting killed - why isn't it a problem to snuff out its life? For the purposes of this postage stamp sized view, I'll just say that disvalue in cutting a life short accrues only when the life cut short belongs to something with self-awareness, or meta-sentience, or basically, the ability to discern a continuing "I" in the animal's lived experience of the world. I think dolphins have this, certainly humans have this, maybe great apes and lots of other animals too? I'm not super sure. In any case, cutting this short is wrong because, with that conception of the "I" comes value attached to the persistence of the "I." (Without that value it's fine to end the life, which is why physician assisted suicide, for instance, could be okay.) Since animals that lack the "I" also lack the value attached to its persistence, there is no problem with ending their life.

    So, if horses perceive a continuing existence because they have self-awareness, then it would be better to make them slaves, just like it would be better for human beings to be enslaved rather than to die (unless of course the humans prefer to die, in which case it's their choice. Live free or die, etc.) If the horses are more akin to what I think we can more or less safely say is the case about a sea cucumber, then it would be better to painlessly kill them.

    Note that this would allow infanticide for orphans assuming there were no other reasons to not kill them. Infants have no self-awareness at birth. This also explains why abortion would be justifiable because the fetus has no self-awareness.

    I don't think we need to get dragged down into this unless the conversation turns towards experiments that painlessly kill non-human animals, which I don't think is the right direction to go until we've at least decided whether it's okay to use non-human animals at all in experiments.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    That actually sound like an interesting experiment.
    If you could have proved that you could duplicate the same damage patterns, what would you have used it for?

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    That actually sound like an interesting experiment.
    If you could have proved that you could duplicate the same damage patterns, what would you have used it for?

    future models for different types of blasts and experimenting and practicing TBI treatment and repair (I think the current model actually is rats or some smaller animal, it was some time ago)

    edit: Oh yeah I just remembered the problem was most of the preventable damage happens soon after the blast, but we can only get data on people once we get them to the hospital a long time later, so nobody knows what happens to the brain in the meantime. Obviously unless we bring portable CT machines to the front we won't be getting data from the victims, and since rats are an easier model to work with we've made inroads there, but pigs have bigger brains that look more like human brains so they should be better for finding stuff out in that mystery period right after the explosion, where it's still possible to get medical care without imaging if we know what the heck's going on.

    but the bonus that should have turned this into a paper was if the injury usually caused signficant damage around the hippocampus, which could be a link to explaining PTSD

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.
    Whether the animals could live in the wild or not is kind of irrelevant. Babies can't live in the wild either. As I understand it, the experiment you mention is supposed to be an example of the sort of moderate damage to animals that the IACUC protocol outlaws which could perhaps give society quite a few benefits, and that therefore IACUC guidelines might be too strict? Or maybe that last part isn't in there, I'm not sure.

    In any case, I don't want to tell you how to do cost benefit analyses, because that gets very messy. I just want to say that if you think you should be able to cause brain damage to pigs, let them live a bit, then kill them painlessly then collect data, then you should also think that you should be able to do the same thing to human babies bred for this purpose (perhaps in the future when we can grow babies outside of the womb just to make the example simpler. Or we could use orphaned babies). Bombard the newborns with rapid pressure changes, let their brains try to fix that for a bit, then painlessly kill them. If this sounds acceptable for the level of knowledge we're likely to gain, then I think it's also acceptable to do it to the pigs. If you wouldn't want to breed, bombard, and kill babies for this purpose, then I think you have to be against using pigs for this purpose too, because to think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

    edit: and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even).

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.
    Whether the animals could live in the wild or not is kind of irrelevant. Babies can't live in the wild either. As I understand it, the experiment you mention is supposed to be an example of the sort of moderate damage to animals that the IACUC protocol outlaws which could perhaps give society quite a few benefits, and that therefore IACUC guidelines might be too strict? Or maybe that last part isn't in there, I'm not sure.

    In any case, I don't want to tell you how to do cost benefit analyses, because that gets very messy. I just want to say that if you think you should be able to cause brain damage to pigs, let them live a bit, then kill them painlessly then collect data, then you should also think that you should be able to do the same thing to human babies bred for this purpose (perhaps in the future when we can grow babies outside of the womb just to make the example simpler. Or we could use orphaned babies). Bombard the newborns with rapid pressure changes, let their brains try to fix that for a bit, then painlessly kill them. If this sounds acceptable for the level of knowledge we're likely to gain, then I think it's also acceptable to do it to the pigs. If you wouldn't want to breed, bombard, and kill babies for this purpose, then I think you have to be against using pigs for this purpose too, because to think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

    edit: and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even).

    From a scientific standpoint, the fact that the cranial vault isn't fully fused and the stem cells throughout the body are still in a state of advanced regeneration and activity would probably pull the baby off the model both ways, but the main argument against the continual baby analogy is breeding and potential. Babies have the potential to become communicating law abiding citizens or at least institutionalized, the likes of which we can put up with a lot better than most animals, who get very restless in an inactive lifestyle. Babies are very hard to breed and are usually not bred for experimental purposes, and there is a demand outside of science for the life of these individuals. All other reasons are special interest considerations.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.
    Whether the animals could live in the wild or not is kind of irrelevant. Babies can't live in the wild either. As I understand it, the experiment you mention is supposed to be an example of the sort of moderate damage to animals that the IACUC protocol outlaws which could perhaps give society quite a few benefits, and that therefore IACUC guidelines might be too strict? Or maybe that last part isn't in there, I'm not sure.

    In any case, I don't want to tell you how to do cost benefit analyses, because that gets very messy. I just want to say that if you think you should be able to cause brain damage to pigs, let them live a bit, then kill them painlessly then collect data, then you should also think that you should be able to do the same thing to human babies bred for this purpose (perhaps in the future when we can grow babies outside of the womb just to make the example simpler. Or we could use orphaned babies). Bombard the newborns with rapid pressure changes, let their brains try to fix that for a bit, then painlessly kill them. If this sounds acceptable for the level of knowledge we're likely to gain, then I think it's also acceptable to do it to the pigs. If you wouldn't want to breed, bombard, and kill babies for this purpose, then I think you have to be against using pigs for this purpose too, because to think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

    edit: and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even).

    From a scientific standpoint, the fact that the cranial vault isn't fully fused and the stem cells throughout the body are still in a state of advanced regeneration and activity would probably pull the baby off the model both ways, but the main argument against the continual baby analogy is breeding and potential. Babies have the potential to become communicating law abiding citizens or at least institutionalized, the likes of which we can put up with a lot better than most animals, who get very restless in an inactive lifestyle. Babies are very hard to breed and are usually not bred for experimental purposes, and there is a demand outside of science for the life of these individuals. All other reasons are special interest considerations.
    So it sounds like there are 4+ reasons not to use babies:

    1. They're worse for the experiment. This reason doesn't count because it's not always the case - presumably there could be some experiments where babies would be better. I would prefer to focus on those experiments, or on experiments where babies are equally as useful. This was why I added "and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even)" to my post.

    2. Babies have the potential to become citizens. Not if we kill them right after we do our brain damage experiments or whatever! Also it's not clear why growing up into a law abiding citizen makes you more protected from the infliction of pain via science experiment. Dogs can't grow up to be law abiding citizens but it's still not okay to walk around town giving them swift kicks to the ribs, right? So why is it more okay to use them in experiments than to use a baby that will grow up into a citizen? What does growing up into a citizen have to do with anything?

    3. Babies are hard to breed. This isn't an ethical argument against using babies. It's entirely irrelevant.

    4. There is a demand outside of science for the life of babies. If you're saying "people want babies" then I'm not sure why that's relevant. Some extremely radical animal rights activists want to free the lab animals but this doesn't mean we can't use them for experiments. Second, are you trying to say that if nobody wanted to adopt these babies, then it would be fine to use them? But perhaps instead you mean to say that the "demand" is just in terms of people who don't want us to kill babies but who are fine with us killing pigs. That's true but irrelevant. What people demand might be wrong. It was certainly wrong when the demand for treating slaves as human beings wasn't there and I'm arguing that it's wrong right now when nobody demands that lab animals be treated the way we would treat human babies.

    +++. Special interest considerations. I don't know what these are or why they would be relevant.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.
    Whether the animals could live in the wild or not is kind of irrelevant. Babies can't live in the wild either. As I understand it, the experiment you mention is supposed to be an example of the sort of moderate damage to animals that the IACUC protocol outlaws which could perhaps give society quite a few benefits, and that therefore IACUC guidelines might be too strict? Or maybe that last part isn't in there, I'm not sure.

    In any case, I don't want to tell you how to do cost benefit analyses, because that gets very messy. I just want to say that if you think you should be able to cause brain damage to pigs, let them live a bit, then kill them painlessly then collect data, then you should also think that you should be able to do the same thing to human babies bred for this purpose (perhaps in the future when we can grow babies outside of the womb just to make the example simpler. Or we could use orphaned babies). Bombard the newborns with rapid pressure changes, let their brains try to fix that for a bit, then painlessly kill them. If this sounds acceptable for the level of knowledge we're likely to gain, then I think it's also acceptable to do it to the pigs. If you wouldn't want to breed, bombard, and kill babies for this purpose, then I think you have to be against using pigs for this purpose too, because to think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

    edit: and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even).

    From a scientific standpoint, the fact that the cranial vault isn't fully fused and the stem cells throughout the body are still in a state of advanced regeneration and activity would probably pull the baby off the model both ways, but the main argument against the continual baby analogy is breeding and potential. Babies have the potential to become communicating law abiding citizens or at least institutionalized, the likes of which we can put up with a lot better than most animals, who get very restless in an inactive lifestyle. Babies are very hard to breed and are usually not bred for experimental purposes, and there is a demand outside of science for the life of these individuals. All other reasons are special interest considerations.
    So it sounds like there are 4+ reasons not to use babies:

    1. They're worse for the experiment. This reason doesn't count because it's not always the case - presumably there could be some experiments where babies would be better. I would prefer to focus on those experiments, or on experiments where babies are equally as useful. This was why I added "and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even)" to my post.

    2. Babies have the potential to become citizens. Not if we kill them right after we do our brain damage experiments or whatever! Also it's not clear why growing up into a law abiding citizen makes you immune to the infliction of pain. Dogs can't grow up to be law abiding citizens but it's still not okay to hurt them, right? So why is it more okay to use them in experiments than to use a baby that will grow up into a citizen? What does growing up into a citizen have to do with anything?

    3. Babies are hard to breed. This isn't an ethical argument against using babies. It's entirely irrelevant.

    4. There is a demand outside of science for the life of babies. If you're saying "people want babies" then I'm not sure why that's relevant. Some extremely radical animal rights activists want to free the lab animals but this doesn't mean we can't use them for experiments. Second, are you trying to say that if nobody wanted to adopt these babies, then it would be fine to use them? But perhaps instead you mean to say that the "demand" is just in terms of people who don't want us to kill babies but who are fine with us killing pigs. That's true but irrelevant. What people demand might be wrong. It was certainly wrong when the demand for treating slaves as human beings wasn't there and I'm arguing that it's wrong right now when nobody demands that lab animals be treated the way we would treat human babies.

    +++. Special interest considerations. I don't know what these are or why they would be relevant.

    Special interests are all morality related, I wasn't really arguing ethics but the practical reasons why we don't use human subjects in bench research.

    I don't know why you selected dogs as an example because they are certainly a type of animal used in experiments. The only reason why we use flies, rats, and pigs is not because they're a lower class of animals, but because they're closer to humans in some way disproportionate to their caretaking value.

    Properly cared for and nurtured, a baby has the capacity to grow into an organism that can clearly beyond a shadow of a doubt demonstrate sentience in terms of communication and an understanding of the social contract, among other things. This allows the person to exist in the paradigm of a freedom loving society. Otherwise, we intern or kill them depending on state, even against their will.

    Dogs and other animals have much less of a capacity to be part of the social contract and therefore must prove their worth on a case by case basis. This is where demand comes in. If there is no demand for an organism, it is killed or becomes a ward of the state. This is why PETA kills pets; logistically they really have no use for all these animals ,and they can't be released into the wild without harming the environment and the released animal. Humans are more versatile and there is a market for them, partly because humans usually love other humans more than other animals, and because humans have many more marketable skills than animals. That's also where this situation is different from slavery. If there is no demand for slaves, then all slaves everywhere aren't suddenly killed.

    Special interests are religious and legal considerations which have nothing to do with science but shape the ethical limitations of scientific research. Those are non-negotiable and can be as speciest as they want without compromising their morality because the morality is either user defined or democratic. I sincerely doubt that if slaves were unable to communicate and demonstrated no signs of self awareness that we would be in a huge rush to start a civil war over them, even if they were human in appearance. I could be wrong and human appearance could be enough to raise these questions, but that is arbitrary based on the will of the age. I think what I've postulated - that the present or reasonably expected ability to obey the social contract confers the right to individual freedom - is what we work with now and still jives with the animal model.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.
    Whether the animals could live in the wild or not is kind of irrelevant. Babies can't live in the wild either. As I understand it, the experiment you mention is supposed to be an example of the sort of moderate damage to animals that the IACUC protocol outlaws which could perhaps give society quite a few benefits, and that therefore IACUC guidelines might be too strict? Or maybe that last part isn't in there, I'm not sure.

    In any case, I don't want to tell you how to do cost benefit analyses, because that gets very messy. I just want to say that if you think you should be able to cause brain damage to pigs, let them live a bit, then kill them painlessly then collect data, then you should also think that you should be able to do the same thing to human babies bred for this purpose (perhaps in the future when we can grow babies outside of the womb just to make the example simpler. Or we could use orphaned babies). Bombard the newborns with rapid pressure changes, let their brains try to fix that for a bit, then painlessly kill them. If this sounds acceptable for the level of knowledge we're likely to gain, then I think it's also acceptable to do it to the pigs. If you wouldn't want to breed, bombard, and kill babies for this purpose, then I think you have to be against using pigs for this purpose too, because to think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

    edit: and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even).

    From a scientific standpoint, the fact that the cranial vault isn't fully fused and the stem cells throughout the body are still in a state of advanced regeneration and activity would probably pull the baby off the model both ways, but the main argument against the continual baby analogy is breeding and potential. Babies have the potential to become communicating law abiding citizens or at least institutionalized, the likes of which we can put up with a lot better than most animals, who get very restless in an inactive lifestyle. Babies are very hard to breed and are usually not bred for experimental purposes, and there is a demand outside of science for the life of these individuals. All other reasons are special interest considerations.
    So it sounds like there are 4+ reasons not to use babies:

    1. They're worse for the experiment. This reason doesn't count because it's not always the case - presumably there could be some experiments where babies would be better. I would prefer to focus on those experiments, or on experiments where babies are equally as useful. This was why I added "and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even)" to my post.

    2. Babies have the potential to become citizens. Not if we kill them right after we do our brain damage experiments or whatever! Also it's not clear why growing up into a law abiding citizen makes you immune to the infliction of pain. Dogs can't grow up to be law abiding citizens but it's still not okay to hurt them, right? So why is it more okay to use them in experiments than to use a baby that will grow up into a citizen? What does growing up into a citizen have to do with anything?

    3. Babies are hard to breed. This isn't an ethical argument against using babies. It's entirely irrelevant.

    4. There is a demand outside of science for the life of babies. If you're saying "people want babies" then I'm not sure why that's relevant. Some extremely radical animal rights activists want to free the lab animals but this doesn't mean we can't use them for experiments. Second, are you trying to say that if nobody wanted to adopt these babies, then it would be fine to use them? But perhaps instead you mean to say that the "demand" is just in terms of people who don't want us to kill babies but who are fine with us killing pigs. That's true but irrelevant. What people demand might be wrong. It was certainly wrong when the demand for treating slaves as human beings wasn't there and I'm arguing that it's wrong right now when nobody demands that lab animals be treated the way we would treat human babies.

    +++. Special interest considerations. I don't know what these are or why they would be relevant.

    Special interests are all morality related, I wasn't really arguing ethics but the practical reasons why we don't use human subjects in bench research.

    I don't know why you selected dogs as an example because they are certainly a type of animal used in experiments. The only reason why we use flies, rats, and pigs is not because they're a lower class of animals, but because they're closer to humans in some way disproportionate to their caretaking value.

    Properly cared for and nurtured, a baby has the capacity to grow into an organism that can clearly beyond a shadow of a doubt demonstrate sentience in terms of communication and an understanding of the social contract, among other things. This allows the person to exist in the paradigm of a freedom loving society. Otherwise, we intern or kill them depending on state, even against their will.

    Dogs and other animals have much less of a capacity to be part of the social contract and therefore must prove their worth on a case by case basis. This is where demand comes in. If there is no demand for an organism, it is killed or becomes a ward of the state. This is why PETA kills pets; logistically they really have no use for all these animals ,and they can't be released into the wild without harming the environment and the released animal. Humans are more versatile and there is a market for them, partly because humans usually love other humans more than other animals, and because humans have many more marketable skills than animals. That's also where this situation is different from slavery. If there is no demand for slaves, then all slaves everywhere aren't suddenly killed.

    Special interests are religious and legal considerations which have nothing to do with science but shape the ethical limitations of scientific research. Those are non-negotiable and can be as speciest as they want without compromising their morality because the morality is either user defined or democratic. I sincerely doubt that if slaves were unable to communicate and demonstrated no signs of self awareness that we would be in a huge rush to start a civil war over them, even if they were human in appearance. I could be wrong and human appearance could be enough to raise these questions, but that is arbitrary based on the will of the age. I think what I've postulated - that the present or reasonably expected ability to obey the social contract confers the right to individual freedom - is what we work with now and still jives with the animal model.
    If you're not arguing ethics, then that's fine, but I am arguing ethics so it might be that we're just talking past each other. I'm talking about what we ought morally to do when we do science experiments, so to the extent that you're not talking about that, everything I say is going to be irrelevant to you and vice versa. However, much of the rest of your post does appear to be moral argument, so I'm going to assume you're making moral claims about what we ought to do, morally.

    I used dogs because dogs are adorable. I could've used any animal that we ought not to kick in the ribs. It's irrelevant which animal I use as long as we agree that it's not okay to kick that animal in the ribs for no reason.

    What does this social contract have to do with anything? A dog can't sign a social contract but it's not okay to kick it in the ribs, right? So at least when it comes to pain infliction, social contract signing is completely irrelevant.

    I don't think PETA kills animals because they are useless. I think it kills them because it can't find homes for them and it can't take care of them itself. Even if there were no demand for humans, would it be okay to kill them?

    Your last paragraph is when you seem to get away from moral argument and back into just describing how science works, which is fine. I would like to point out that none of it has any bearing morally, because these other religious and legal considerations may be incorrect. We're looking for the moral truth, not for what people claim is the moral truth. You suggest near the end that maybe this social contract stuff is what we use now - if that is what you mean to say, and if you do not mean to claim that it is correct or incorrect, then that's fine. I want to go further and argue that it is incorrect and, if it is what we use, it needs to be replaced because it is morally unjustifiable.

  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    We wouldn't do those general harm sorts of things to babies, but those factors make it harder to get IACUC approved.

    Consider that in addition to having a negligible effect on the progress of society, animals used in intense studies have relatively short life spans and are bred for the sole purpose of experimentation. They would not exist otherwise, and actually cannot be allowed to live in the wild. They'd be killed anyway in most cases, especially if they are no longer used for research, because there is no other use for their domestication. If you were to set up a pet shop or ranch for wayward rats and pigs that is actually successful, you could probably make a small improvement in the treatment of lab animals, but such things exist to an extent and aren't wildly successful.

    Ask me why they cannot be allowed to live in the wild if you think it's relevant to the discussion and I and others so educated will give you specific examples that we take for granted but you may find food for thought. Or it might not be interesting at all to you as it is currently not interesting to the point I'm trying to make.

    There is a moral and pragmatic benefit to treating animals like humans, but it is measurable and surmountable, according to precedent research, by specific well designed experiments that show much promise to better society a lot more concretely and demonstrably in the form of cured patients and social progress. Moderately promising experiments may fall by the wayside because the harm to the morality of what they do to animals may outweigh their significant but inadequate benefits.

    Let me illustrate with an example:

    I was recently at the end of a research project finding an animal model of traumatic brain injury for the purposes helping veterans of foreign wars. What is done is pigs are locked by their heads in a closed cylinder, and an explosion is simulated via a rapid pressure change. This gives every pig brain damage, at which point they are killed immediately, their brains extracted, fixed, and viewed under a microscope to see how much the brain injury resembles people coming home from the front with concussive blast damage.

    The experiment failed because a stipulation of the IACUC protocol was that the pigs should be killed immediately and not allowed to suffer. Therefore, we could not isolate which parts of the brain were actually damaged by the blast and not by the extraction and fixation because, in the hours after a trauma to the brain, the nerves desperately try to fix themselves by releasing trackable organic molecules. Because the brains were killed immediately to follow protocol, we couldn't match up the pig brains to veteran brains that did show the evidence of nerve repair, so the model failed, proving nothing.

    This is an example of scientific progress completely halted due to ethics concerns that nullified the purpose of the experiment. In the end, the pigs were killed for no reason, and to determine if the IACUC screwed up or not, we would have to do a cost/benefit analysis by doing something like this:

    -Harm of brain damage on pigs + 0 (no benefit) > or < or = -Harm of prolonged brain damage on pigs + potential benefit to veterans - Ethical and resource cost of previous study

    If the second calculation turns out to be a positive value, we may repeat the study. But you can see from this example that animal rights do have a nonzero value in the face of reasonable scientific results.
    Whether the animals could live in the wild or not is kind of irrelevant. Babies can't live in the wild either. As I understand it, the experiment you mention is supposed to be an example of the sort of moderate damage to animals that the IACUC protocol outlaws which could perhaps give society quite a few benefits, and that therefore IACUC guidelines might be too strict? Or maybe that last part isn't in there, I'm not sure.

    In any case, I don't want to tell you how to do cost benefit analyses, because that gets very messy. I just want to say that if you think you should be able to cause brain damage to pigs, let them live a bit, then kill them painlessly then collect data, then you should also think that you should be able to do the same thing to human babies bred for this purpose (perhaps in the future when we can grow babies outside of the womb just to make the example simpler. Or we could use orphaned babies). Bombard the newborns with rapid pressure changes, let their brains try to fix that for a bit, then painlessly kill them. If this sounds acceptable for the level of knowledge we're likely to gain, then I think it's also acceptable to do it to the pigs. If you wouldn't want to breed, bombard, and kill babies for this purpose, then I think you have to be against using pigs for this purpose too, because to think otherwise would be morally inconsistent.

    edit: and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even).

    From a scientific standpoint, the fact that the cranial vault isn't fully fused and the stem cells throughout the body are still in a state of advanced regeneration and activity would probably pull the baby off the model both ways, but the main argument against the continual baby analogy is breeding and potential. Babies have the potential to become communicating law abiding citizens or at least institutionalized, the likes of which we can put up with a lot better than most animals, who get very restless in an inactive lifestyle. Babies are very hard to breed and are usually not bred for experimental purposes, and there is a demand outside of science for the life of these individuals. All other reasons are special interest considerations.
    So it sounds like there are 4+ reasons not to use babies:

    1. They're worse for the experiment. This reason doesn't count because it's not always the case - presumably there could be some experiments where babies would be better. I would prefer to focus on those experiments, or on experiments where babies are equally as useful. This was why I added "and for the purposes of the thought experiment, assume the data you get from newborn babies is just as good as the pig data (or better, even)" to my post.

    2. Babies have the potential to become citizens. Not if we kill them right after we do our brain damage experiments or whatever! Also it's not clear why growing up into a law abiding citizen makes you immune to the infliction of pain. Dogs can't grow up to be law abiding citizens but it's still not okay to hurt them, right? So why is it more okay to use them in experiments than to use a baby that will grow up into a citizen? What does growing up into a citizen have to do with anything?

    3. Babies are hard to breed. This isn't an ethical argument against using babies. It's entirely irrelevant.

    4. There is a demand outside of science for the life of babies. If you're saying "people want babies" then I'm not sure why that's relevant. Some extremely radical animal rights activists want to free the lab animals but this doesn't mean we can't use them for experiments. Second, are you trying to say that if nobody wanted to adopt these babies, then it would be fine to use them? But perhaps instead you mean to say that the "demand" is just in terms of people who don't want us to kill babies but who are fine with us killing pigs. That's true but irrelevant. What people demand might be wrong. It was certainly wrong when the demand for treating slaves as human beings wasn't there and I'm arguing that it's wrong right now when nobody demands that lab animals be treated the way we would treat human babies.

    +++. Special interest considerations. I don't know what these are or why they would be relevant.

    Special interests are all morality related, I wasn't really arguing ethics but the practical reasons why we don't use human subjects in bench research.

    I don't know why you selected dogs as an example because they are certainly a type of animal used in experiments. The only reason why we use flies, rats, and pigs is not because they're a lower class of animals, but because they're closer to humans in some way disproportionate to their caretaking value.

    Properly cared for and nurtured, a baby has the capacity to grow into an organism that can clearly beyond a shadow of a doubt demonstrate sentience in terms of communication and an understanding of the social contract, among other things. This allows the person to exist in the paradigm of a freedom loving society. Otherwise, we intern or kill them depending on state, even against their will.

    Dogs and other animals have much less of a capacity to be part of the social contract and therefore must prove their worth on a case by case basis. This is where demand comes in. If there is no demand for an organism, it is killed or becomes a ward of the state. This is why PETA kills pets; logistically they really have no use for all these animals ,and they can't be released into the wild without harming the environment and the released animal. Humans are more versatile and there is a market for them, partly because humans usually love other humans more than other animals, and because humans have many more marketable skills than animals. That's also where this situation is different from slavery. If there is no demand for slaves, then all slaves everywhere aren't suddenly killed.

    Special interests are religious and legal considerations which have nothing to do with science but shape the ethical limitations of scientific research. Those are non-negotiable and can be as speciest as they want without compromising their morality because the morality is either user defined or democratic. I sincerely doubt that if slaves were unable to communicate and demonstrated no signs of self awareness that we would be in a huge rush to start a civil war over them, even if they were human in appearance. I could be wrong and human appearance could be enough to raise these questions, but that is arbitrary based on the will of the age. I think what I've postulated - that the present or reasonably expected ability to obey the social contract confers the right to individual freedom - is what we work with now and still jives with the animal model.
    If you're not arguing ethics, then that's fine, but I am arguing ethics so it might be that we're just talking past each other. I'm talking about what we ought morally to do when we do science experiments, so to the extent that you're not talking about that, everything I say is going to be irrelevant to you and vice versa. However, much of the rest of your post does appear to be moral argument, so I'm going to assume you're making moral claims about what we ought to do, morally.

    I used dogs because dogs are adorable. I could've used any animal that we ought not to kick in the ribs. It's irrelevant which animal I use as long as we agree that it's not okay to kick that animal in the ribs for no reason.

    What does this social contract have to do with anything? A dog can't sign a social contract but it's not okay to kick it in the ribs, right? So at least when it comes to pain infliction, social contract signing is completely irrelevant.

    I don't think PETA kills animals because they are useless. I think it kills them because it can't find homes for them and it can't take care of them itself. Even if there were no demand for humans, would it be okay to kill them?

    Your last paragraph is when you seem to get away from moral argument and back into just describing how science works, which is fine. I would like to point out that none of it has any bearing morally, because these other religious and legal considerations may be incorrect. We're looking for the moral truth, not for what people claim is the moral truth. You suggest near the end that maybe this social contract stuff is what we use now - if that is what you mean to say, and if you do not mean to claim that it is correct or incorrect, then that's fine. I want to go further and argue that it is incorrect and, if it is what we use, it needs to be replaced because it is morally unjustifiable.

    Just to address this point, unless I misunderstand their stance completely, it's pretty much "kill all pets".
    They don't believe people should have pets ever (or other domesticated animals), and they propose the "Final Solution" style problem solving for this dilemma.

    Also, Hitler. Carry on.

    Edit: oopsy, unbolded the "kill all humans" part of your post, since the holocaust reference was supposed to be a semi-humours attempt to make light of PETA's pet stance.

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  • Craw!Craw! Registered User
    Non-human animal experimentation is like this except instead of babies we use rats. Can we justify using rats instead of babies? I argue that we cannot. There is no good line to be drawn that is not arbitrary and based on blind unthinking prejudice.

    Where do you draw the line, TychoCelchuuu? Is every organism that has at least one neuron a no-go? Are isolated neurons a no-go?

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    How would you choose whether to kill a human or a dolphin then? Would you just be paralyzed and unable to decide?

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  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime FiresideWizard Registered User regular
    Even with experimentation the test animals have to be cared for.

    There are laws and oversight on this. If your company/foundation/university plan on working with test animals they are responsible for their humane treatment and care, despite what they might be injecting them with or exposing them to.



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  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    @mrmister @lucid I'm really interested to se our responses to an earlier post (repeated below). I just don't understand what the value or meaning of morality is outside of its ability to change behavior, unless you think there is a higher power scoring us on a morality scale or a platonic form of morality out there.
    MrMister wrote: »
    Only if the strongest people are so strong that we as a society can't stop them. If gods walk among us and do whatever they please and we cannot stop them, what value in calling them wrong?

    Possibly, none. But that doesn't mean that what they're doing isn't wrong. Consider a parallel: suppose that I am a medieval courtesan, and furthermore that my king smells intolerably bad. What is the value in saying so? Possibly, none. If I say so, he may kill me for my insolence. But the fact that there is no point in saying so doesn't mean that it isn't true that my king smells bad. All that's required for my king to smell bad is that he does, in fact, smell bad. In just the same way, the gods who walk among us might be wrong even though there is no point in saying so. All that's required for them to be wrong is that they are in fact wrong.

    But what does that even mean? A minority group should always say that what the majority does that harms or disadvantages them is wrong, but is that a reason for the majority to stop? We don't want a tyranny of the minority, do we?

    I seems to me that calling something wrong is a normative judgement, but what value are normative judgements that don't impact behavior?
    Lucid wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    I think there are only two bad things in the world: 1) my own pain (whether direct or indirect) and 2) my reasonable anticipation of pain. I think this means I should keep others from being hurt to the extent their hurt will upset me (empathy) or to the extent their hurt may lead to my own hurt. Since I do not fear retaliation from animals for experimenting on them, I have no reason not to do so other than it making me upset.

    This seems similar to solipsism. If you only view your own pain as bad, how does this involve 'the world'?

    I don't think this is solipsism at all, because you see your own pain or the anticipation of your pain as bad, as does everyone else. This is the mindset that enables us to exist as a society (we all make sacrifices to lessen the situations in which we expect to be hurt) and I also allows for self sacrifice (it may hurt me more to see my love ones suffer than to sacrifice myself).

    Note, I said 'similar to' in that you've claimed that there are two bad things in 'the world', which are those feelings limited to your own inner domain. I mean, yes, technically you exist in the world, but your pain isn't really experienced by the world. If only your pain is bad, it seems to suggest that the pain of others doesn't come into consideration, unless it also makes you feel bad. This seems to be denying the tangibility of others pain in some weird way.

    You mention that seeing your own pain as bad is what enables us to exist as a society, you don't believe that anyone sees others pain as bad, only their own? That seems like something difficult to prove on your part.
    Well, we won't accept your future if (1) we have reason to fear that we could one day fall into the other 49.99% or (2) it is so appalling to the 50.01% don't want to do it. I think that (2) is a very compelling reason why we would not do so.

    I think my stance on drugs is completely consistent with what I'm saying here. I don't value the pleasure people obtain from them and so don't want anyone to use them, including myself for a number of reasons, one of which is the "harm" of being inconvienced by users. I don't fear being subject to similiar restrictions (I'd be fine with alcohol being banned) and my empathy does not make me feel bad for those who can't use them because of the ban.

    I think the implication is that in V1m's scenario, you don't have reason to fear falling into the other half. Why would you find it appalling at this point, if you're only concerned about your own pain? You're in the group that's benefiting from the pain of the others.

    In terms of drugs, the inconvenience you mention, how does this override the pleasure experience of others? I can't imagine you actually being significantly inconvenienced, so why should others, under your own logic surrounding pain, care about what you feel?

    If I am not affected by someone else's pain, then when would I want to apply the normative label "wrong" to it at all? Either it bothers me so I think it is wrong (this is based on my feelings about the situation and wanting the situation to be better to alleviate my feelings) or that pain is not causing me any distress in which case, why label it wrong or anything else? Calling somethign which I don't even disagree with or register any reaction from as "wrong" seems very arbitrary.

    Because I might have empathy and look at these people, see the similarity between myself and them, and not want to see them hurt (i.e., be hurt myself by the fact that it upsets me). I think a lot of the problem here is people are not recognizing how strong I think empathy is as a motivation.

    With drugs, if people using them provides me with even a mote of unhappiness and I don't feel compassion towards the people who lose out on their pleasures, banning them is a net win for me. It doesn't matter if the benefit to me is small, its still a gain for me, as long as I don't fear that something I care about will also be lost. Similiarly, I don't watch the big bang theory, but if someone came to me and said it was up to me if it gets cancelled or not, I would cancel it, no question, because it might possibly give community (a show I love) a bump in the ratings. I know that other people would be upset it was cancelled, but I don't see that as a reason not to cancel it. If, on the other hand, my choice was a world where random people got to cancel shows or one where this did not occur, I would choose the latter, because I don't value cancelling the big bang theory enough to outweigh the risk of shows I like being cancelled.

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  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    @spacekungfuman

    On my phone in an airport, so I must be brief. When you ask what value a moral claim can have it strikes me as the wrong question. I think some moral claims are simply true, and the practical use to which they can be put is irrelevant to that. A parallel: I have no idea whether the fact that fermats last theorem is true is useful for anything at all, but it is still a fact either way. Same with the historical fact that I drank sparkling water this morning. Useful to no one, but still a fact as much as any other.

    The question of what moral claims could mean in abscence of motivational impact is I think better than what value they could have. There is some conceptual connection between morality and action insofar as it tells us how we ought to behave. But the extent to which it must necessarily motivate us to follow it all on its own is very controversial. Some people do indeed accept the view that it is always necessarily motivating. But even they tend to only hold that to be true for the person who makes the judgment (aka, I judge i ought to phi, so then I am motivated to phi). But this is compatible with making moral judgments you know no one else will follow.

    MrMister on
  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Craw! wrote: »
    Non-human animal experimentation is like this except instead of babies we use rats. Can we justify using rats instead of babies? I argue that we cannot. There is no good line to be drawn that is not arbitrary and based on blind unthinking prejudice.

    Where do you draw the line, TychoCelchuuu? Is every organism that has at least one neuron a no-go? Are isolated neurons a no-go?
    The line is ability to feel pain. I don't think anyone thinks that neurons feel anything.
    How would you choose whether to kill a human or a dolphin then? Would you just be paralyzed and unable to decide?
    I'd decide the same way I would decide when choosing to choose between killing one human or another human.
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.
    "This is ridiculous. A black person is NOT a white person. Pain between white people and black people is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a black person and hurting a white person, I'd hurt the black person. I don't know why you're bringing women's suffrage and sexism into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary black people experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can easily be waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on white people. However, we can perform them on black people or Asians and then apply the results to us! It saves us from white person experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world."

    I submit that the two above statements make exactly the same mistake. They are prejudiced without any justification for the prejudice. I am prejudiced against non-white races. You are prejudiced against non-human species.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.

    Again this is sort of a side issue. Whether or not an animal can, or should, feel *exactly* the same amount of pain as a person can be, well, debated till the cows come home. We're not suddenly going to become a species that doesn't domesticate animals (and other animals have forms of domestication too! Like ants and aphids!), nor are we going to 100% stop using animals in experiments for practical reasons. I don't know how I feel about playing with critters DNA like a kitten with a ball of yarn, but even if that was required, there needs to be ethical oversight to insure both the number of animals needed and the amount of pain caused by the experiments are limited as much as possible.

    If I had to chose between a dog and a baby, I'd pick the baby everytime. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be mad as hell if I saw someone cutting on one for kicks.

    As several people have pointed out, what's needed is better controls and ways to limit suffering of which some good examples have been posted. Perhaps death (if any) of the test subjects could be calculated into the after action reports of the tests.

    If you need to make 20 mutant dogs to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.

    And you can experiment all you like on bugs, screw em.

    manwiththemachinegun on
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  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.

    Again this is sort of a side issue. Whether or not an animal can, or should, feel *exactly* the same amount of pain as a person can be, well, debated till the cows come home. We're not suddenly going to become a species that doesn't domesticate animals (and other animals have forms of domestication too! Like ants and aphids!), nor are we going to 100% stop using animals in experiments for practical reasons. I don't know how I feel about playing with critters DNA like a kitten with a ball of yarn, but even if that was required, there needs to be ethical oversight to insure both the number of animals needed and the amount of pain caused by the experiments are limited as much as possible.

    If I had to chose between a black person and a white person, I'd pick the white person everytime. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be mad as hell if I saw someone cutting on one for kicks.

    As several people have pointed out, what's needed is better controls and ways to limit suffering of which some good examples have been posted. Perhaps death (if any) of the test subjects could be calculated into the after action reports of the tests.

    If you need to make 20 mutant black people to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.

    And you can experiment all you like on native americans, screw em.

    Am I doing it right, @TychoCelchuuu ?

    For the record, I don't think this is equivalent at all, but this is tycho's position as I understand it.

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  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    Every kennel makes mutant dogs.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.

    Again this is sort of a side issue. Whether or not an animal can, or should, feel *exactly* the same amount of pain as a person can be, well, debated till the cows come home. We're not suddenly going to become a species that doesn't domesticate animals (and other animals have forms of domestication too! Like ants and aphids!), nor are we going to 100% stop using animals in experiments for practical reasons. I don't know how I feel about playing with critters DNA like a kitten with a ball of yarn, but even if that was required, there needs to be ethical oversight to insure both the number of animals needed and the amount of pain caused by the experiments are limited as much as possible.

    If I had to chose between a black person and a white person, I'd pick the white person everytime. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be mad as hell if I saw someone cutting on one for kicks.

    As several people have pointed out, what's needed is better controls and ways to limit suffering of which some good examples have been posted. Perhaps death (if any) of the test subjects could be calculated into the after action reports of the tests.

    If you need to make 20 mutant black people to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.

    And you can experiment all you like on native americans, screw em.

    Am I doing it right, @TychoCelchuuu ?

    For the record, I don't think this is equivalent at all, but this is tycho's position as I understand it.
    Well, you didn't do it quite right, because you left his first paragraph alone which is where most of the action is, but that's the basic idea: if your position discriminates between two groups on no justifiable basis other than prejudice, then it's just as bad as racism. Peter Singer's word for it is speciesism.

    edit: to clarify about the first paragraph, you could say something like "we're not suddenly going to become a race that doesn't enslave black people (and other races have forms of slavery too! Like the Egyptians!), nor are we going to 100% stop using black people in experiments for practical reasons." That's twisted and unjustifiable prejudice that supports suffering on the part of individuals who ought not to suffer.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    @spacekungfuman

    On my phone in an airport, so I must be brief. When you ask what value a moral claim can have it strikes me as the wrong question. I think some moral claims are simply true, and the practical use to which they can be put is irrelevant to that. A parallel: I have no idea whether the fact that fermats last theorem is true is useful for anything at all, but it is still a fact either way. Same with the historical fact that I drank sparkling water this morning. Useful to no one, but still a fact as much as any other.

    The question of what moral claims could mean in abscence of motivational impact is I think better than what value they could have. There is some conceptual connection between morality and action insofar as it tells us how we ought to behave. But the extent to which it must necessarily motivate us to follow it all on its own is very controversial. Some people do indeed accept the view that it is always necessarily motivating. But even they tend to only hold that to be true for the person who makes the judgment (aka, I judge i ought to phi, so then I am motivated to phi). But this is compatible with making moral judgments you know no one else will follow.

    Thanks for the reply! I think this all makes sense, but what seems to be missing is an accounting the mechanism that makes people follow your moral judgement. It seems to me that people will only follow moral requirements to the extent that they accept them (which I think will be based on them being requirements people agree with for their own reasons) or because they are imposed on them by the majority. And so this brings me back to my original question of what additional content something being a "moral" judgement or requirement brings that is not already included in the concept of a judgement or requirement.

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  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.

    Again this is sort of a side issue. Whether or not an animal can, or should, feel *exactly* the same amount of pain as a person can be, well, debated till the cows come home. We're not suddenly going to become a species that doesn't domesticate animals (and other animals have forms of domestication too! Like ants and aphids!), nor are we going to 100% stop using animals in experiments for practical reasons. I don't know how I feel about playing with critters DNA like a kitten with a ball of yarn, but even if that was required, there needs to be ethical oversight to insure both the number of animals needed and the amount of pain caused by the experiments are limited as much as possible.

    If I had to chose between a black person and a white person, I'd pick the white person everytime. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be mad as hell if I saw someone cutting on one for kicks.

    As several people have pointed out, what's needed is better controls and ways to limit suffering of which some good examples have been posted. Perhaps death (if any) of the test subjects could be calculated into the after action reports of the tests.

    If you need to make 20 mutant black people to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.

    And you can experiment all you like on native americans, screw em.

    Am I doing it right, @TychoCelchuuu ?

    For the record, I don't think this is equivalent at all, but this is tycho's position as I understand it.
    This is ridiculous. A rat is NOT a boy. Pain between humans and rats is not equal (although their capacity to feel pain is) and if it comes down to a choice between hurting a rat and hurting a person, I'd hurt the rat. I don't know why you're bringing racism and slavery into this.

    Even if there are moral qualms to necessary animal experimentation (we can't replace everything with models) they can be easily waved away due to the fact that we're better off with the results. Medical experimentation, genetic engineering, cloning, etc. are all bad things when performed on people. However, we can perform them on rats or monkeys and then apply the results to us! It saves us from human experimentation but still advances our knowledge of the world.

    Again this is sort of a side issue. Whether or not an animal can, or should, feel *exactly* the same amount of pain as a person can be, well, debated till the cows come home. We're not suddenly going to become a species that doesn't domesticate animals (and other animals have forms of domestication too! Like ants and aphids!), nor are we going to 100% stop using animals in experiments for practical reasons. I don't know how I feel about playing with critters DNA like a kitten with a ball of yarn, but even if that was required, there needs to be ethical oversight to insure both the number of animals needed and the amount of pain caused by the experiments are limited as much as possible.

    If I had to chose between a black person and a white person, I'd pick the white person everytime. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be mad as hell if I saw someone cutting on one for kicks.

    As several people have pointed out, what's needed is better controls and ways to limit suffering of which some good examples have been posted. Perhaps death (if any) of the test subjects could be calculated into the after action reports of the tests.

    If you need to make 20 mutant black people to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.

    And you can experiment all you like on native americans, screw em.

    Am I doing it right, @TychoCelchuuu ?

    For the record, I don't think this is equivalent at all, but this is tycho's position as I understand it.
    Well, you didn't do it quite right, because you left his first paragraph alone which is where most of the action is, but that's the basic idea: if your position discriminates between two groups on no justifiable basis other than prejudice, then it's just as bad as racism. Peter Singer's word for it is speciesism.

    edit: to clarify about the first paragraph, you could say something like "we're not suddenly going to become a race that doesn't enslave black people (and other races have forms of slavery too! Like the Egyptians!), nor are we going to 100% stop using black people in experiments for practical reasons." That's twisted and unjustifiable prejudice that supports suffering on the part of individuals who ought not to suffer.

    This getting a little bit into navel gazing territory. A bug does not have friends and loved ones, it does not grieve for the deceased, I'm not sure how the pain scale registers, if at all, for a bug but if I could use them instead of a howling, whimpering dog which is clearly in duress, I would. Whereas people of every race and ethnicity have a general, uniform reaction to pain and have memories, and emotional responses.

    These comparison between racial groups and bugs are little off point given the topic we're talking about.

    Comparing banning slavery with a total halt forever of animal experimentation, especially the kind that doesn't result in death and pain, is just a bit much for me to buy. I'm not a Buddhist, an ant does not have equal value to a human life.

    manwiththemachinegun on
  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    If you need to make 20 mutant dogs to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.
    I don't have much to add to the moral discussion here, but this line is the opposite of true. You MUST be able to repeat an experiment in order for it to even be considered successful. Then other people, in other labs, need to be able to repeat it as well.


  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    @spacekungfuman

    On my phone in an airport, so I must be brief. When you ask what value a moral claim can have it strikes me as the wrong question. I think some moral claims are simply true, and the practical use to which they can be put is irrelevant to that. A parallel: I have no idea whether the fact that fermats last theorem is true is useful for anything at all, but it is still a fact either way. Same with the historical fact that I drank sparkling water this morning. Useful to no one, but still a fact as much as any other.

    The question of what moral claims could mean in abscence of motivational impact is I think better than what value they could have. There is some conceptual connection between morality and action insofar as it tells us how we ought to behave. But the extent to which it must necessarily motivate us to follow it all on its own is very controversial. Some people do indeed accept the view that it is always necessarily motivating. But even they tend to only hold that to be true for the person who makes the judgment (aka, I judge i ought to phi, so then I am motivated to phi). But this is compatible with making moral judgments you know no one else will follow.

    Thanks for the reply! I think this all makes sense, but what seems to be missing is an accounting the mechanism that makes people follow your moral judgement. It seems to me that people will only follow moral requirements to the extent that they accept them (which I think will be based on them being requirements people agree with for their own reasons) or because they are imposed on them by the majority. And so this brings me back to my original question of what additional content something being a "moral" judgement or requirement brings that is not already included in the concept of a judgement or requirement.
    A "moral" judgment or requirement is about what is right or wrong, good and bad, all things considered. Other judgments (like "that painting is pretty" or "this burrito tastes bad") are about other things. Just like people can ignore a moral judgment, they can ignore other judgments. One key difference is that most people think moral judgments are universal: if murder is wrong, that doesn't mean murder is wrong to you but that murder is wrong full stop, whereas "this burrito tastes bad" usually is meant to just mean "this burrito tastes bad to me."

    Talking about moral judgments is probably the wrong way to think about it. Judgments are made about things by human beings. Think about moral facts. Like, it is the case that murder is wrong, that rape and torture are wrong. These could just be facts, just like 2+2=4 is a fact and "Fermat's Last Theorem is true" is a fact, regardless of whether anyone knows that these are the facts or cares that these are the facts.
    [snip]

    This getting a little bit into navel gazing territory. A bug does not have friends and loved ones, it does not grieve for the deceased, I'm not sure how the pain scale registers, if at all, for a bug but if I could use them instead of a howling, whimpering dog which is clearly in duress, I would. Whereas people of every race and ethnicity have a general, uniform reaction to pain and have memories, and emotional responses.

    These comparison between racial groups and bugs are little off point given the topic we're talking about.

    Comparing banning slavery with a total halt forever of animal experimentation, especially the kind that doesn't result in death and pain, is just a bit much for me to buy. I'm not a Buddhist, an ant does not have equal value to a human life.
    Babies don't have friends or loved ones and do not grieve for the deceased. If bugs don't feel pain then I don't care about bugs. I know things are blurry on the edges. I'm talking about obvious cases like dogs and pigs. If you want to only do medical experiments on bugs then I will relent. This thread is about the ethics of animal experimentation and my argument throughout has always been that for a lot of non-human animals the obvious answer is that we should not be using them in experiments we would not use human babies in. The animals on the margins like insects can be dealt with later but they are peripheral questions.

    Don't use bugs! Use dogs. Can we compare between racial groups and species like humans and dogs?

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    I submit that the two above statements make exactly the same mistake. They are prejudiced without any justification for the prejudice. I am prejudiced against non-white races. You are prejudiced against non-human species.

    Oh, you're one of those people. Thank God you aren't a scientist; we'd still be using leeches to cure cancer. Also totally ignoring everything you say from now on, don't bother replying to this.
    As several people have pointed out, what's needed is better controls and ways to limit suffering of which some good examples have been posted. Perhaps death (if any) of the test subjects could be calculated into the after action reports of the tests.

    That's very true! Experiments should be always be done as humanely as possible. I also agree about the dog/baby scenario. My main beef was with tycho but he turned out to be a "pets are animal slaves" sort of person.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    If you're going to do substitution, substitute this:


    Animals cannot be made to obey the social contract of a fair society, so they should not be awarded the rights given to humans who can.

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    If you're going to do substitution, substitute this:


    Animals cannot be made to obey the social contract of a fair society, so they should not be awarded the rights given to humans who can.

    Nor can young children.

    EDIT: By which I don't mean to argue that young children should have no rights, but that we have a precedent of granting a subset of rights to those entities who are unable to meaningfully subscribe to the whole of the social contract. Some animals are certainly capable of entering into limited social contracts, and arguably domesticated animals do have a social contract with us.

    EDIT 2: And that social contract has a real legal, intellectual, social and emotional meaning for many millions of people. Which in part shows why PETA are fucking morons who should be put in a bag and drowned.

    V1m on
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    BSoB wrote: »
    If you need to make 20 mutant dogs to show your scientific genius, you need to rethink the ethics and methods of your controls and variables. And once the experiment IS a success, there's no reason to repeat it over and over.
    I don't have much to add to the moral discussion here, but this line is the opposite of true. You MUST be able to repeat an experiment in order for it to even be considered successful. Then other people, in other labs, need to be able to repeat it as well.

    Only so far as to make sure the result is valid. If your experiment causes considerable pain, why repeat it over and over once the result is confirmed?

    Again, this is separating out the extremes.

    manwiththemachinegun on
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    If you're going to do substitution, substitute this:


    Animals cannot be made to obey the social contract of a fair society, so they should not be awarded the rights given to humans who can.
    If you honestly think that it's okay to hurt anything that can't obey a social contract, and thus it's okay to go around giving dogs swift kicks to the ribs and torturing cats for fun and so on, then that's wonderful, but I think you've probably lost the argument.

    I don't think animals need to be treated exactly like humans. Obviously humans get the right to vote, for instance, and animals don't. I've said this before in this thread. What I've also said is that when it comes to pain and suffering, animals need to be treated exactly like humans, at least for animals like dogs which pretty clearly feel the same kind of pain that we do.

    And for more evidence that what we have against animals is prejudice rather than anything principled, I would point everyone in this thread to @Captain Marcus who apparently comes into a forum labeled "Debate & Discourse" looking for neither because he is so sure of his prejudices that he won't even deign to debate them with someone who thinks they have arguments against them.

    edit: and just so anyone doesn't get the wrong idea, I don't think pets are like slaves. I think pets are like adopted children. I think animals that are forced to work (like draft animals) are like slaves, although they don't have to be - if draft animals are treated well, they could be like adopted children that help out around the farm! It all depends on how we think about them and what priority we give to their needs and desires.

    TychoCelchuuu on
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