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"Because we can," ethics in scientific experiments

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Posts

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    And I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a speciesist (specist?).

    We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving animals. Pets are morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen to not though.

    Once we're past the point of needing animals to advance science, either through cloning parts needed, really advanced computer simulation or alien intervention, then sure ban it all. Until then:
    This isn't really a way to have a constructive discussion. Someone says "you are doing something morally wrong. You need to stop right now." Let's take racism for example. I show up to your plantation one day and notice that you have a bunch of people enslaved because they happen to have darker skin than you. I tell you "listen, this is not okay. You need to let these people go. You're being racist." You reply "and I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a racist (racesist?). We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving other races. Not letting black people vote is morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen not to though. Once we're past the point of needing slaves to advance my plantation, either through more efficient machines, bioengineered crops, or alien inteverntion, then sure ban it all. Until then:

    220px-Legree.png"

    You basically shut down all discussion. We're not talking about what you happen to believe is right or wrong. We're talking about what is right and wrong. What should the laws be? Who should we be angry at? Should I vote for stricter animal testing regulations? Your answer to these questions are "I don't give a fuck what other people think of me, I just want to test shit on animals if I feel like it."
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Sentience is a pretty good difference though, right? Can't we go with that?

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I don't think it's commonplace at all to have a vet tech sacrifice your rats
    Unless you have a certain license, you can't touch sodium pentothal. If you're doing pentothal sacrifice, the vet techs have to do it.

    what about ketamine
    Pentobarbital overdose is the most preferable euthanasia method in all cases. As a general rule, a dose that is at least 3 times an anesthetic dose will be effective. Ketamine is not acceptable for euthanasia when used alone but can be humane when used in conjunction with sedatives and tranquilizers. However, it is not very efficient as it requires very high doses. Carbon dioxide overdosage is commonly used. Physical methods of euthanasia have a high potential for being inhumane and are only acceptable when scientifically necessary and must be performed by carefully trained personnel. Physical methods are acceptable for fully anesthetized animals. In fact, physical assurance of euthanasia is critically important in all cases. Very deeply anesthetized animals may appear dead; yet, they may recover from the anesthesia at a later time. A convenient method of assuring euthanasia is to create a bilateral pneumothorax by permitting air to enter the chest cavity. This is best accomplished by making a small incision through each side of the chest. Physical assurance of euthanasia of mice and other similarly small rodents can be accomplished by cervical dislocation.

    oh ok

    what some people are doing nowadays is

    butt shot of ketamine overdose, drop in a couple dry ice, then push up on the jaw really hard until the neck snaps
    They may want to review their IACUC guidelines and check with their head of veterinary research.

    yeah I'm pretty sure they do

    A lot of people are doing this kind of thing in a very amateurish way because it's not the main goal of the lab. It's a side project that they're only getting done because one person has a bit of free time and has basic lab experience. When you get right down to it, all you need for certification is some paperwork and a real boring online course, which is fine for labs who don't have a life outside of their research, but for basement loosely affiliated interns there might be shady stuff going 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.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Does the ban on primate research hamper our advancement of science? Also, what's the reason for it? If it's "we can get the same results for less harm", cool, go for it. If its "wook at his wittle face" then the reasoning gets wonky for me.

    That's sort of reasoning-from-cuteness is often brought up as a foil in these sorts of conversations. The best arguments against animal experimentation do not use any such appeals, however; rather, they appeal to alleged parallels between animals and low-functioning humans like babies and the severely retarded who we, one supposes, would not countenance any such experiments on. This is just a straightforward appeal to consistency, and has nothing to do with how adorable anything is.

    Okay wow, that's a little bit long for me to read just now, so I apologise if I miss something.

    I'm not sure than an appeal to human-like level of brain function is a valid tactic. Especially when your baseline is babies. (I'm starting to think I have an issue with children)

    If you use brain function as a comparison between potential test subjects, sure. e.g. Rats vs Chimps, where both would give comparable results, use rats. But if you need chimps for your alzheimer curing smart drug, then use chimps.
    You definitely did miss something. "Human-like level of brain function" is not the relevant consideration when we're deciding whether we can carry out experiments on a living creature. The relevant consideration is "can if feel pain?" If something can feel pain, it's not okay to use it for experiments or whatever. Singer things that any reason you give for letting us use animals would also be a reason for letting us use humans. If you think it's wrong to experiment on humans, then you have to realize that humans are equal to other animals when it comes to the characteristic that matters: capacity to feel pain.

    Okay, pain feeling is a metric I can work with.

    I'm fine with reducing harm in whichever way you can, without impacting the validity of the experiment.

    I don't think animals are equal to humans, even if you're using pain as the main metric.

    Edit: Wow, that came off a bit callous. What I meant was, I don't believe in absolutes when it comes to animal research. Also, I rank people higher than animals for purposes such as these. I might be biased in that regard though. Also babies. Feel free to use babies.
    Why aren't non-human animals equal to humans if we use pain as the metric? Do you think that, for instance, a rat feels less pain than a human would when you poke it with a needle?

    Well, I meant main metric, not only.

    And after you finish your experiment on the effects of severe pokie trauma, your human subject has to re-integrate with society, where as your rat has a date with one more needle.

    I place humans above animals in this regard.
    Your human subject has to re-integrate with society? No way! They have another date with a needle. For the rest of their life.

    Basically what you're saying is that it's okay to experiment on rats because they don't have any prospects for the rest of their life, but this is not a great argument for 2 reasons. First, we're the reason the rat has no further prospects. Second, we can make it such that humans have no further prospects, but that wouldn't make it more okay to experiment on them.

    We place more worth on people than rats.

    If the science needs to be done, and we can only use rats or humans, use rats. If we need humans, use humans.

    It doesn't mean that we do things unethically, or that we don't try to minimize harm.

    Edit: I'm guessing we might have different ideas about the experiments were talking about. I'm not talking about the two headed money dog ones, but closer to cancer/disease treatment ones. And yes, also things similar to isolation monkey one. I recall one with over population and fluctuating resources involving rats. Didn't end well for the rats.
    You place more worth on people than on rats. That doesn't mean you're correct to do so. As the article points out, all throughout history people have placed more worth on certain groups (men, white people, property owners, etc.) than they have on others. Because of this, they thought it was okay to deny women the right to vote or to enslave people with dark skin and so on. Nowadays we think that all human beings are equal and that this sort of behavior is wrong. We need to go one step further and realize that human beings are not some magical special species that gets super awesome special treatment because we're just fucking great. We need to realize that other species feel pain and that because of this it's wrong to use them for experiments we wouldn't use humans for. Basically when you decide to do an experiment on an animal, you need to ask "would I do this to a person?" If the answer is no, then what justification do you have for doing it to any animal other than blatant prejudice?

    And I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a speciesist (specist?).

    We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving animals. Pets are morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen to not though.

    Once we're past the point of needing animals to advance science, either through cloning parts needed, really advanced computer simulation or alien intervention, then sure ban it all. Until then:
    PBF189-Keep_on_Truckin.jpg

    The problem I have with your arguments is that you move between rational and emotional depending on what you need in order to believe what you want to believe. If someone makes an argument based on rationality, such as the MrMr's about intelligence, you reject the argument because you don't feel the same way, or don't like babies, or retreat into relativism and subjectivity. If someone else puts forward an argument based on caring for animals, you dismiss it as emotional.

    Now, I don't think you're a big meanie or something, because I don't think you're aware you're doing this. But it does make it essentially impossible to debate with you.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    And I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a speciesist (specist?).

    We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving animals. Pets are morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen to not though.

    Once we're past the point of needing animals to advance science, either through cloning parts needed, really advanced computer simulation or alien intervention, then sure ban it all. Until then:
    This isn't really a way to have a constructive discussion. Someone says "you are doing something morally wrong. You need to stop right now." Let's take racism for example. I show up to your plantation one day and notice that you have a bunch of people enslaved because they happen to have darker skin than you. I tell you "listen, this is not okay. You need to let these people go. You're being racist." You reply "and I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a racist (racesist?). We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving other races. Not letting black people vote is morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen not to though. Once we're past the point of needing slaves to advance my plantation, either through more efficient machines, bioengineered crops, or alien inteverntion, then sure ban it all. Until then:

    220px-Legree.png"

    You basically shut down all discussion. We're not talking about what you happen to believe is right or wrong. We're talking about what is right and wrong. What should the laws be? Who should we be angry at? Should I vote for stricter animal testing regulations? Your answer to these questions are "I don't give a fuck what other people think of me, I just want to test shit on animals if I feel like it."
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Sentience is a pretty good difference though, right? Can't we go with that?

    sentience is a legal, scientific, and philosophical nightmare, and everyone would prefer a rubric that excludes it

    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.
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud bear with us as we do some "rebranding" Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Brainless colonies do not store memory of pain so they do not anticipate another pain or avoid another pain (once the initial stimulus is gone). We feel pain because we have the necessary nervous system to feel it and because we are also highly developed primates, we remember that pain and store it. A colony of bacteria can be poked, release ions (your electrochemical example) and then respond by moving or dying or whatever, but there are no receptors to generate a pain response. When we touch a hot stove, we feel an ouchy because there is an electrochemical reaction AND we have the appropriate receptors to interpret a pain signal. We can then store that in some manner and say, "Hey, stoves are hot. I should avoid them." or "I hope stoves don't continue to burn me." Many vertebrate animals follow the same process.

  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    And I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a speciesist (specist?).

    We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving animals. Pets are morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen to not though.

    Once we're past the point of needing animals to advance science, either through cloning parts needed, really advanced computer simulation or alien intervention, then sure ban it all. Until then:
    This isn't really a way to have a constructive discussion. Someone says "you are doing something morally wrong. You need to stop right now." Let's take racism for example. I show up to your plantation one day and notice that you have a bunch of people enslaved because they happen to have darker skin than you. I tell you "listen, this is not okay. You need to let these people go. You're being racist." You reply "and I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a racist (racesist?). We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving other races. Not letting black people vote is morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen not to though. Once we're past the point of needing slaves to advance my plantation, either through more efficient machines, bioengineered crops, or alien inteverntion, then sure ban it all. Until then:

    220px-Legree.png"

    You basically shut down all discussion. We're not talking about what you happen to believe is right or wrong. We're talking about what is right and wrong. What should the laws be? Who should we be angry at? Should I vote for stricter animal testing regulations? Your answer to these questions are "I don't give a fuck what other people think of me, I just want to test shit on animals if I feel like it."
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Sentience is a pretty good difference though, right? Can't we go with that?

    I didn't mean to come off like that, sorry. (I mostly wanted to post that comic actually)

    But your question on why I think humans are more important than animals? I'm sure others here can articulate a better answer than me. But for now it's "we just are".

    And to compare it to slavery:
    We need people to do things, build things, make society work.
    Slaves is a bad way to go about it, since it has a lot of harm, where the harm doesn't actually translate into gain.
    Rather pay people to do things like we have now, and keep on trying to make things better.
    Similar overall results (same/better?) with less harm

    To tie back to animal research, reduce harm where you can. But we're still getting a lot of gain from research.

    Mortious on
    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud bear with us as we do some "rebranding" Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I don't think it's commonplace at all to have a vet tech sacrifice your rats
    Unless you have a certain license, you can't touch sodium pentothal. If you're doing pentothal sacrifice, the vet techs have to do it.

    what about ketamine
    Pentobarbital overdose is the most preferable euthanasia method in all cases. As a general rule, a dose that is at least 3 times an anesthetic dose will be effective. Ketamine is not acceptable for euthanasia when used alone but can be humane when used in conjunction with sedatives and tranquilizers. However, it is not very efficient as it requires very high doses. Carbon dioxide overdosage is commonly used. Physical methods of euthanasia have a high potential for being inhumane and are only acceptable when scientifically necessary and must be performed by carefully trained personnel. Physical methods are acceptable for fully anesthetized animals. In fact, physical assurance of euthanasia is critically important in all cases. Very deeply anesthetized animals may appear dead; yet, they may recover from the anesthesia at a later time. A convenient method of assuring euthanasia is to create a bilateral pneumothorax by permitting air to enter the chest cavity. This is best accomplished by making a small incision through each side of the chest. Physical assurance of euthanasia of mice and other similarly small rodents can be accomplished by cervical dislocation.

    oh ok

    what some people are doing nowadays is

    butt shot of ketamine overdose, drop in a couple dry ice, then push up on the jaw really hard until the neck snaps
    They may want to review their IACUC guidelines and check with their head of veterinary research.

    yeah I'm pretty sure they do

    A lot of people are doing this kind of thing in a very amateurish way because it's not the main goal of the lab. It's a side project that they're only getting done because one person has a bit of free time and has basic lab experience. When you get right down to it, all you need for certification is some paperwork and a real boring online course, which is fine for labs who don't have a life outside of their research, but for basement loosely affiliated interns there might be shady stuff going on.
    I hear that all the time. I actually worked for a guy who refused to let the vet techs know ahead of time when he needed mice euthanized and he would try to get me to just kill them myself. I did not because I did not have the training and he was also a terrible person. I did not work for him for very long.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    And I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a speciesist (specist?).

    We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving animals. Pets are morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen to not though.

    Once we're past the point of needing animals to advance science, either through cloning parts needed, really advanced computer simulation or alien intervention, then sure ban it all. Until then:
    This isn't really a way to have a constructive discussion. Someone says "you are doing something morally wrong. You need to stop right now." Let's take racism for example. I show up to your plantation one day and notice that you have a bunch of people enslaved because they happen to have darker skin than you. I tell you "listen, this is not okay. You need to let these people go. You're being racist." You reply "and I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a racist (racesist?). We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving other races. Not letting black people vote is morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen not to though. Once we're past the point of needing slaves to advance my plantation, either through more efficient machines, bioengineered crops, or alien inteverntion, then sure ban it all. Until then:

    220px-Legree.png"

    You basically shut down all discussion. We're not talking about what you happen to believe is right or wrong. We're talking about what is right and wrong. What should the laws be? Who should we be angry at? Should I vote for stricter animal testing regulations? Your answer to these questions are "I don't give a fuck what other people think of me, I just want to test shit on animals if I feel like it."
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Sentience is a pretty good difference though, right? Can't we go with that?

    I didn't mean to come off like that, sorry. (I mostly wanted to post that comic actually)

    But your question on why I think humans are more important than animals? I'm sure others here can articulate a better answer than me. But for now it's "we just are".

    And to compare it to slavery:
    We need people to do things, build things, make society work.
    Slaves is a bad way to go about it, since it has a lot of harm, where the harm doesn't actually translate into gain.
    Rather pay people to do things like we have now, and keep on trying to make things better.
    Similar overall results (same/better?) with less harm

    To tie back to animal research, reduce harm where you can. But we're still getting a lot of gain from research.

    This means you reject both rationality and emotional feelings for judging ethics, leaving only convention.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but that is what you're saying.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    I didn't mean to come off like that, sorry. (I mostly wanted to post that comic actually)

    But your question on why I think humans are more important than animals? I'm sure others here can articulate a better answer than me. But for now it's "we just are".

    And to compare it to slavery:
    We need people to do things, build things, make society work.
    Slaves is a bad way to go about it, since it has a lot of harm, where the harm doesn't actually translate into gain.
    Rather pay people to do things like we have now, and keep on trying to make things better.
    Similar overall results (same/better?) with less harm

    To tie back to animal research, reduce harm where you can. But we're still getting a lot of gain from research.
    When your argument is "slavery is okay as long as there are lots of gains from it" I think you've left everyone else behind, but what I was talking about is slavery driven by racism, not just slavery period. Maybe slavery is totally okay as long as you have benign motives, like making a shitton of cash! Whatever! That's another argument. I'm saying that slavery because the other people are black is wrong. If you disagree with that then... well, you don't have a lot of allies. Basically at this point it's just you and white supremacists, and I'm happy to concede that if someone is convinced that white supremacy and similar positions are ethically defensible then I'm not going to be able to convince them that animal rights need to be taken seriously without getting them to make fundamental readjustments to their ideas of human rights first. The article MrMister linked takes for granted that you think all humans are equal. If you haven't joined the rest of the modern world in at least paying lip service to this idea then you're basically not ready for the extension of human rights to animals.

    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Sentience is a pretty good difference though, right? Can't we go with that?

    sentience is a legal, scientific, and philosophical nightmare, and everyone would prefer a rubric that excludes it
    That would be ideal, yes, but given the difficulties with coming up with an alternative rubric, can't we just say that things that are obviously sentient at the very least ought not to be experimented on, and although maybe we need another criterion for things at the margins (like... weird organisms we grow in vats in the future), that's something to worry about AFTER we've stopped basically all animal testing?

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Does the ban on primate research hamper our advancement of science? Also, what's the reason for it? If it's "we can get the same results for less harm", cool, go for it. If its "wook at his wittle face" then the reasoning gets wonky for me.

    That's sort of reasoning-from-cuteness is often brought up as a foil in these sorts of conversations. The best arguments against animal experimentation do not use any such appeals, however; rather, they appeal to alleged parallels between animals and low-functioning humans like babies and the severely retarded who we, one supposes, would not countenance any such experiments on. This is just a straightforward appeal to consistency, and has nothing to do with how adorable anything is.

    Okay wow, that's a little bit long for me to read just now, so I apologise if I miss something.

    I'm not sure than an appeal to human-like level of brain function is a valid tactic. Especially when your baseline is babies. (I'm starting to think I have an issue with children)

    If you use brain function as a comparison between potential test subjects, sure. e.g. Rats vs Chimps, where both would give comparable results, use rats. But if you need chimps for your alzheimer curing smart drug, then use chimps.
    You definitely did miss something. "Human-like level of brain function" is not the relevant consideration when we're deciding whether we can carry out experiments on a living creature. The relevant consideration is "can if feel pain?" If something can feel pain, it's not okay to use it for experiments or whatever. Singer things that any reason you give for letting us use animals would also be a reason for letting us use humans. If you think it's wrong to experiment on humans, then you have to realize that humans are equal to other animals when it comes to the characteristic that matters: capacity to feel pain.

    Okay, pain feeling is a metric I can work with.

    I'm fine with reducing harm in whichever way you can, without impacting the validity of the experiment.

    I don't think animals are equal to humans, even if you're using pain as the main metric.

    Edit: Wow, that came off a bit callous. What I meant was, I don't believe in absolutes when it comes to animal research. Also, I rank people higher than animals for purposes such as these. I might be biased in that regard though. Also babies. Feel free to use babies.
    Why aren't non-human animals equal to humans if we use pain as the metric? Do you think that, for instance, a rat feels less pain than a human would when you poke it with a needle?

    Well, I meant main metric, not only.

    And after you finish your experiment on the effects of severe pokie trauma, your human subject has to re-integrate with society, where as your rat has a date with one more needle.

    I place humans above animals in this regard.
    Your human subject has to re-integrate with society? No way! They have another date with a needle. For the rest of their life.

    Basically what you're saying is that it's okay to experiment on rats because they don't have any prospects for the rest of their life, but this is not a great argument for 2 reasons. First, we're the reason the rat has no further prospects. Second, we can make it such that humans have no further prospects, but that wouldn't make it more okay to experiment on them.

    We place more worth on people than rats.

    If the science needs to be done, and we can only use rats or humans, use rats. If we need humans, use humans.

    It doesn't mean that we do things unethically, or that we don't try to minimize harm.

    Edit: I'm guessing we might have different ideas about the experiments were talking about. I'm not talking about the two headed money dog ones, but closer to cancer/disease treatment ones. And yes, also things similar to isolation monkey one. I recall one with over population and fluctuating resources involving rats. Didn't end well for the rats.
    You place more worth on people than on rats. That doesn't mean you're correct to do so. As the article points out, all throughout history people have placed more worth on certain groups (men, white people, property owners, etc.) than they have on others. Because of this, they thought it was okay to deny women the right to vote or to enslave people with dark skin and so on. Nowadays we think that all human beings are equal and that this sort of behavior is wrong. We need to go one step further and realize that human beings are not some magical special species that gets super awesome special treatment because we're just fucking great. We need to realize that other species feel pain and that because of this it's wrong to use them for experiments we wouldn't use humans for. Basically when you decide to do an experiment on an animal, you need to ask "would I do this to a person?" If the answer is no, then what justification do you have for doing it to any animal other than blatant prejudice?

    And I'm okay with that. Maybe in the future, future-people will call me a speciesist (specist?).

    We do it all the time, with a variety of things involving animals. Pets are morally wrong according to some. And they have a point, if you agree with their world view. I happen to not though.

    Once we're past the point of needing animals to advance science, either through cloning parts needed, really advanced computer simulation or alien intervention, then sure ban it all. Until then:
    PBF189-Keep_on_Truckin.jpg

    The problem I have with your arguments is that you move between rational and emotional depending on what you need in order to believe what you want to believe. If someone makes an argument based on rationality, such as the MrMr's about intelligence, you reject the argument because you don't feel the same way, or don't like babies, or retreat into relativism and subjectivity. If someone else puts forward an argument based on caring for animals, you dismiss it as emotional.

    Now, I don't think you're a big meanie or something, because I don't think you're aware you're doing this. But it does make it essentially impossible to debate with you.

    I could have phrased it better, sorry.

    In my mind the arguments are shifting between rational and emotional though.

    I'm all for doing everything in a way that's more humane. Oversight committees, using vet techs etc. Even having discussions whether the research requires animal testing/is worth it to even start.

    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Brainless colonies do not store memory of pain so they do not anticipate another pain or avoid another pain (once the initial stimulus is gone). We feel pain because we have the necessary nervous system to feel it and because we are also highly developed primates, we remember that pain and store it. A colony of bacteria can be poked, release ions (your electrochemical example) and then respond by moving or dying or whatever, but there are no receptors to generate a pain response. When we touch a hot stove, we feel an ouchy because there is an electrochemical reaction AND we have the appropriate receptors to interpret a pain signal. We can then store that in some manner and say, "Hey, stoves are hot. I should avoid them." or "I hope stoves don't continue to burn me." Many vertebrate animals follow the same process.

    a nervous system is one way to perceive pain, and it relies on artificially generated horrible signals to the parts of our brain that process sensation. The memory of pain is stored by an adaptive configuration of potentiated synaptic pathways.

    what if I pulled an isaac asimov and said that there was another method designed to interpret and recall pain that has been in development for an almost unimaginable factor of time longer than the neural method? Genetic memory compounded with assimilated complex behaviors like quorum sensing would be a fancy. It's insane, but it makes about as much objective sense as trying to prevent pain in cephalic organisms because pain hurts.

    As an experiment in visualizing what used to be known as protozoa, our class was instructed to pull termites apart under a microscope to allow us to see the trichonympha allowing it to digest wood. Termites do sense pain; I don't know if they can remember it, but they have several complex behaviors related to their interactions with predatory and competing species to suggest they have at least programmed behaviors ingrained from past experience. Termites are also pests regularly exterminated to preserve estate value.

    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
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    I didn't mean to come off like that, sorry. (I mostly wanted to post that comic actually)

    But your question on why I think humans are more important than animals? I'm sure others here can articulate a better answer than me. But for now it's "we just are".

    And to compare it to slavery:
    We need people to do things, build things, make society work.
    Slaves is a bad way to go about it, since it has a lot of harm, where the harm doesn't actually translate into gain.
    Rather pay people to do things like we have now, and keep on trying to make things better.
    Similar overall results (same/better?) with less harm

    To tie back to animal research, reduce harm where you can. But we're still getting a lot of gain from research.
    When your argument is "slavery is okay as long as there are lots of gains from it" I think you've left everyone else behind, but what I was talking about is slavery driven by racism, not just slavery period. Maybe slavery is totally okay as long as you have benign motives, like making a shitton of cash! Whatever! That's another argument. I'm saying that slavery because the other people are black is wrong. If you disagree with that then... well, you don't have a lot of allies. Basically at this point it's just you and white supremacists, and I'm happy to concede that if someone is convinced that white supremacy and similar positions are ethically defensible then I'm not going to be able to convince them that animal rights need to be taken seriously without getting them to make fundamental readjustments to their ideas of human rights first. The article MrMister linked takes for granted that you think all humans are equal. If you haven't joined the rest of the modern world in at least paying lip service to this idea then you're basically not ready for the extension of human rights to animals.

    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno man. Bacteria remember pain. It won't be the same bacterium, but it will be able to anticipate and avoid noxious stimuli, especially as a biofilm.
    Bacteria don't have a neural network to perceive pain. They respond to a stimulus. That is it.

    maybe that's all it takes
    That is not all it takes. Sorry!

    what is all it takes, because when you get right down to it the series of electrochemical reactions necessary to perceive pain are just a succession of stimulus-response steps, just like all organisms and even all matter. I can't think of anything off the top of my head that makes the idea of a brainless colony's survival mechanism different from pain by torture except sentience
    Sentience is a pretty good difference though, right? Can't we go with that?

    sentience is a legal, scientific, and philosophical nightmare, and everyone would prefer a rubric that excludes it
    That would be ideal, yes, but given the difficulties with coming up with an alternative rubric, can't we just say that things that are obviously sentient at the very least ought not to be experimented on, and although maybe we need another criterion for things at the margins (like... weird organisms we grow in vats in the future), that's something to worry about AFTER we've stopped basically all animal testing?

    Okay, I think we misunderstood each other. My post on slavery was in the context of tying it back into research. It also had nothing to do with racism.
    The point I was trying to make is, you have a goal. To achieve that goal you need labour. Slavery is a way to go about that, sure. But you can also get to your goal by paying people a wage. Same result, less harm.

    You brought up the slavery example, I was just trying to use it in context :(

    I'm not advocating experiments on animals because it's fun, or for no reason. You need a goal that's deemed worthy. Also the experiment needs to be designed to minimize harm.

    We're not at a point in science where we can stop. There's still a lot of good we can do. We can minimize harm by using small animals where possible, designing experiments well etc.

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I don't think it's commonplace at all to have a vet tech sacrifice your rats
    Unless you have a certain license, you can't touch sodium pentothal. If you're doing pentothal sacrifice, the vet techs have to do it.

    what about ketamine
    Pentobarbital overdose is the most preferable euthanasia method in all cases. As a general rule, a dose that is at least 3 times an anesthetic dose will be effective. Ketamine is not acceptable for euthanasia when used alone but can be humane when used in conjunction with sedatives and tranquilizers. However, it is not very efficient as it requires very high doses. Carbon dioxide overdosage is commonly used. Physical methods of euthanasia have a high potential for being inhumane and are only acceptable when scientifically necessary and must be performed by carefully trained personnel. Physical methods are acceptable for fully anesthetized animals. In fact, physical assurance of euthanasia is critically important in all cases. Very deeply anesthetized animals may appear dead; yet, they may recover from the anesthesia at a later time. A convenient method of assuring euthanasia is to create a bilateral pneumothorax by permitting air to enter the chest cavity. This is best accomplished by making a small incision through each side of the chest. Physical assurance of euthanasia of mice and other similarly small rodents can be accomplished by cervical dislocation.

    oh ok

    what some people are doing nowadays is

    butt shot of ketamine overdose, drop in a couple dry ice, then push up on the jaw really hard until the neck snaps
    They may want to review their IACUC guidelines and check with their head of veterinary research.

    yeah I'm pretty sure they do

    A lot of people are doing this kind of thing in a very amateurish way because it's not the main goal of the lab. It's a side project that they're only getting done because one person has a bit of free time and has basic lab experience. When you get right down to it, all you need for certification is some paperwork and a real boring online course, which is fine for labs who don't have a life outside of their research, but for basement loosely affiliated interns there might be shady stuff going on.
    I hear that all the time. I actually worked for a guy who refused to let the vet techs know ahead of time when he needed mice euthanized and he would try to get me to just kill them myself. I did not because I did not have the training and he was also a terrible person. I did not work for him for very long.

    The guy who was doing this got pretty freaked out when the surgeon who showed him how to do it (and then left forever) saw that one of the mice was still kicking after all that ketamine and gas, and he just shot out his hands and PULLED that mouse with almost enough force to crush its head until you heard the snap. I wasn't as freaked out but he was the one doing the experiment. He's a pretty nice guy and I thought he was way in over his head and I was always worried he was being put on to do unpleasant and even unethical work without knowing, but I've never had IACUC training and was just there to do the non mouse stuff so he could get back to his family before midnight

    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.
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    here is the actual trap

    It is wrong to hurt someone if you want to eat them
    --if they have sentience

    Animals hurt other animals to eat them

    Animals have sentience and are wrong, therefore animals should be banned from eating other animals

    Animals do not have sentience and therefore should not be banned from eating other animals, and now it's okay to eat them because they do not satisfy the first clause

    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
    edited August 2012
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    Okay, you lost me.
    You're advocating stopping farming (It does a lot of damage to a wide variety of animals)
    Recreational activities of fishing, hunting and pet ownership (which is basically slavery if you keep on trying to equate the two)
    Development into undeveloped areas that's mostly natural

    And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative. Striving for it as a goal is admirable, but we're not quite there yet for a lot of things.

    Edit: And Paladin makes a good point. I'm fine for adding more things on the list of "don't eat" based on criteria of, let's say, brain function. (with another criteria of taste, just so that pigs don't sneak onto the list)
    So no chimps, dolphins, panda bears. Since we have a lot of alternatives.

    We're not there yet with science. As we progress, narrow the restrictions, increase the requirements for using animals on that list etc.

    Mortious on
    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    here is the actual trap

    It is wrong to hurt someone if you want to eat them
    --if they have sentience

    Animals hurt other animals to eat them

    Animals have sentience and are wrong, therefore animals should be banned from eating other animals

    Animals do not have sentience and therefore should not be banned from eating other animals, and now it's okay to eat them because they do not satisfy the first clause
    What? That doesn't follow at all. The first clause it "it is wrong to hurt a sentient being just because you want to eat it." Animals don't lose sentience just because they fail to follow the first clause. It just means that animals are doing something wrong. That is, they would be doing something wrong if they had the ability to do moral reasoning, which they don't.

    edit: basically, the idea is this. It's not okay to do something to an animal that you wouldn't do to a human, generally. Obviously there are exceptions and it gets super complicated and blah blah blah blah blah blah, but for something like torture/experimentation, where pain is the important issue, non-human animals and humans aren't really distinguishable in any principled way that keeps mentally retarded people in the "don't experiment on" category. Therefore, if you have a problem doing something to a baby with mental retardation, you should have a problem doing it to an animal.
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    Okay, you lost me.
    You're advocating stopping farming (It does a lot of damage to a wide variety of animals)
    Recreational activities of fishing, hunting and pet ownership (which is basically slavery if you keep on trying to equate the two)
    Development into undeveloped areas that's mostly natural

    And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative. Striving for it as a goal is admirable, but we're not quite there yet for a lot of things.

    Edit: And Paladin makes a good point. I'm fine for adding more things on the list of "don't eat" based on criteria of, let's say, brain function. (with another criteria of taste, just so that pigs don't sneak onto the list)
    So no chimps, dolphins, panda bears. Since we have a lot of alternatives.

    We're not there yet with science. As we progress, narrow the restrictions, increase the requirements for using animals on that list etc.
    Farming used to do a lot of damage to a wide variety of human slaves. We didn't have to stop farming. We just had to change our methods. We probably have to stop fishing, hunting, and some kinds of pet ownership (although maybe not - adopting a child is okay, so adopting a pet is probably okay too in a lot of situations). Development into undeveloped areas if it means bad news for animals probably needs to stop.

    "And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative." THERE IS! It's called veganism! People have done it before. And taste is a silly criterion for what we can eat. People taste like pork, don't they?

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    here is the actual trap

    It is wrong to hurt someone if you want to eat them
    --if they have sentience

    Animals hurt other animals to eat them

    Animals have sentience and are wrong, therefore animals should be banned from eating other animals

    Animals do not have sentience and therefore should not be banned from eating other animals, and now it's okay to eat them because they do not satisfy the first clause
    What? That doesn't follow at all. The first clause it "it is wrong to hurt a sentient being just because you want to eat it." Animals don't lose sentient just because they fail to follow the first clause. It just means that animals are doing something wrong. That is, they would be doing something wrong if they had the ability to do moral reasoning, which they don't.

    that means if you don't have the ability to do moral reasoning, you can do whatever you want. Or you can be at least imprisoned or institutionalized for violating the freedoms of others, which is the price you pay for having the right of equality.

    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
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    here is the actual trap

    It is wrong to hurt someone if you want to eat them
    --if they have sentience

    Animals hurt other animals to eat them

    Animals have sentience and are wrong, therefore animals should be banned from eating other animals

    Animals do not have sentience and therefore should not be banned from eating other animals, and now it's okay to eat them because they do not satisfy the first clause
    What? That doesn't follow at all. The first clause it "it is wrong to hurt a sentient being just because you want to eat it." Animals don't lose sentience just because they fail to follow the first clause. It just means that animals are doing something wrong. That is, they would be doing something wrong if they had the ability to do moral reasoning, which they don't.

    edit: basically, the idea is this. It's not okay to do something to an animal that you wouldn't do to a human, generally. Obviously there are exceptions and it gets super complicated and blah blah blah blah blah blah, but for something like torture/experimentation, where pain is the important issue, non-human animals and humans aren't really distinguishable in any principled way that keeps mentally retarded people in the "don't experiment on" category. Therefore, if you have a problem doing something to a baby with mental retardation, you should have a problem doing it to an animal.
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    Okay, you lost me.
    You're advocating stopping farming (It does a lot of damage to a wide variety of animals)
    Recreational activities of fishing, hunting and pet ownership (which is basically slavery if you keep on trying to equate the two)
    Development into undeveloped areas that's mostly natural

    And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative. Striving for it as a goal is admirable, but we're not quite there yet for a lot of things.

    Edit: And Paladin makes a good point. I'm fine for adding more things on the list of "don't eat" based on criteria of, let's say, brain function. (with another criteria of taste, just so that pigs don't sneak onto the list)
    So no chimps, dolphins, panda bears. Since we have a lot of alternatives.

    We're not there yet with science. As we progress, narrow the restrictions, increase the requirements for using animals on that list etc.
    Farming used to do a lot of damage to a wide variety of human slaves. We didn't have to stop farming. We just had to change our methods. We probably have to stop fishing, hunting, and some kinds of pet ownership (although maybe not - adopting a child is okay, so adopting a pet is probably okay too in a lot of situations). Development into undeveloped areas if it means bad news for animals probably needs to stop.

    "And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative." THERE IS! It's called veganism! People have done it before.
    Paladin wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]
    But the argument on animal/people equality seems off. Starting with the premiss that we oppressed minorities, so eventually animals will be equal seems far-fetched. Even using criteria such as brain function or pain as metrics.

    It's not a sufficient level of proof for me. A whole lot of other activities fall into that trap. Farming, fishing, hunting, pet ownership, environmental changes.

    Giving animals equal rights will probably end civilization (hyperbole ahoy. Though poor countries will be screwed)

    I still haven't had a chance to read MrMr's link though, at work so I'm doing dribs and drabs.
    Yes, lots of things "fall into that trap." Farming doesn't, but fishing, hunting, some kinds of pet ownership, and some kinds of environmental changes do. So what? You need to explain why any of this makes the argument incorrect. It's still wrong to hurt someone even if you want to eat them! Giving animals equal rights will not end civilization, although people said the same thing about giving women the right to vote, setting slaves free, letting gay people get married, and so on.

    here is the actual trap

    It is wrong to hurt someone if you want to eat them
    --if they have sentience

    Animals hurt other animals to eat them

    Animals have sentience and are wrong, therefore animals should be banned from eating other animals

    Animals do not have sentience and therefore should not be banned from eating other animals, and now it's okay to eat them because they do not satisfy the first clause
    What? That doesn't follow at all. The first clause it "it is wrong to hurt a sentient being just because you want to eat it." Animals don't lose sentience just because they fail to follow the first clause. It just means that animals are doing something wrong. That is, they would be doing something wrong if they had the ability to do moral reasoning, which they don't.

    edit: basically, the idea is this. It's not okay to do something to an animal that you wouldn't do to a human, generally. Obviously there are exceptions and it gets super complicated and blah blah blah blah blah blah, but for something like torture/experimentation, where pain is the important issue, non-human animals and humans aren't really distinguishable in any principled way that keeps mentally retarded people in the "don't experiment on" category. Therefore, if you have a problem doing something to a baby with mental retardation, you should have a problem doing it to an animal.
    Mortious wrote: »
    [snip]

    Okay, you lost me.
    You're advocating stopping farming (It does a lot of damage to a wide variety of animals)
    Recreational activities of fishing, hunting and pet ownership (which is basically slavery if you keep on trying to equate the two)
    Development into undeveloped areas that's mostly natural

    And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative. Striving for it as a goal is admirable, but we're not quite there yet for a lot of things.

    Edit: And Paladin makes a good point. I'm fine for adding more things on the list of "don't eat" based on criteria of, let's say, brain function. (with another criteria of taste, just so that pigs don't sneak onto the list)
    So no chimps, dolphins, panda bears. Since we have a lot of alternatives.

    We're not there yet with science. As we progress, narrow the restrictions, increase the requirements for using animals on that list etc.
    Farming used to do a lot of damage to a wide variety of human slaves. We didn't have to stop farming. We just had to change our methods. We probably have to stop fishing, hunting, and some kinds of pet ownership (although maybe not - adopting a child is okay, so adopting a pet is probably okay too in a lot of situations). Development into undeveloped areas if it means bad news for animals probably needs to stop.

    "And it's wrong to hurt something it you want to eat it, if there's an alternative." THERE IS! It's called veganism! People have done it before. And taste is a silly criterion for what we can eat. People taste like pork, don't they?

    The pork thing was a joke, because bacon.

    But this is the problem I have with your argument, sorry if I was unable to articulate this well, you'll just have to bear with me.

    Veganism is great if you can do it. Unfortunately there are two issues with that, that I can see:
    - Industrial farming does a lot of damage to local wildlife (I'm thinking of Soy farming in South America. There was a decent article floating around a while ago)
    - A lot of people aren't in a situation where they can eat ethically farmed produce.

    Edit: oh, the point, yes.
    We're not there yet. Push alternatives, reduce the harm to people, animals and everything in between. But you can't stop everything.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Here are some things that can't do complex moral reasoning (probably): a lion. A 3 year old child. A severely mentally disabled person.

    If any of these three individuals kills a human being, they're not going to go on trial for murder, or if they somehow ended up on trial, they'd very quickly get their case dismissed because they're not responsible for their actions. They can't tell right from wrong. What we do with people or animals like this is a difficult question, but nobody thinks we can torture them or do medical experiments on them or whatever just because they're not able to do moral reasoning. Nobody thinks we can eat a 3 year old because the 3 year old doesn't understand that murder is wrong.

    This is getting far adrift: I direct you to the edit I appended to my post or the article MrMister linked. Here's my edit for convenience:
    edit: basically, the idea is this. It's not okay to do something to an animal that you wouldn't do to a human, generally. Obviously there are exceptions and it gets super complicated and blah blah blah blah blah blah, but for something like torture/experimentation, where pain is the important issue, non-human animals and humans aren't really distinguishable in any principled way that keeps mentally retarded people in the "don't experiment on" category. Therefore, if you have a problem doing something to a baby with mental retardation, you should have a problem doing it to an animal.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Here are some things that can't do complex moral reasoning (probably): a lion. A 3 year old child. A severely mentally disabled person.

    If any of these three individuals kills a human being, they're not going to go on trial for murder, or if they somehow ended up on trial, they'd very quickly get their case dismissed because they're not responsible for their actions. They can't tell right from wrong. What we do with people or animals like this is a difficult question, but nobody thinks we can torture them or do medical experiments on them or whatever just because they're not able to do moral reasoning. Nobody thinks we can eat a 3 year old because the 3 year old doesn't understand that murder is wrong.

    This is getting far adrift: I direct you to the edit I appended to my post or the article MrMister linked. Here's my edit for convenience:
    edit: basically, the idea is this. It's not okay to do something to an animal that you wouldn't do to a human, generally. Obviously there are exceptions and it gets super complicated and blah blah blah blah blah blah, but for something like torture/experimentation, where pain is the important issue, non-human animals and humans aren't really distinguishable in any principled way that keeps mentally retarded people in the "don't experiment on" category. Therefore, if you have a problem doing something to a baby with mental retardation, you should have a problem doing it to an animal.

    The lion gets put down though.
    I'm really hoping we don't do that with children.
    Or the last one.
    Texas joke

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Here are some things that can't do complex moral reasoning (probably): a lion. A 3 year old child. A severely mentally disabled person.

    If any of these three individuals kills a human being, they're not going to go on trial for murder, or if they somehow ended up on trial, they'd very quickly get their case dismissed because they're not responsible for their actions. They can't tell right from wrong. What we do with people or animals like this is a difficult question, but nobody thinks we can torture them or do medical experiments on them or whatever just because they're not able to do moral reasoning. Nobody thinks we can eat a 3 year old because the 3 year old doesn't understand that murder is wrong.

    This is getting far adrift: I direct you to the edit I appended to my post or the article MrMister linked. Here's my edit for convenience:
    edit: basically, the idea is this. It's not okay to do something to an animal that you wouldn't do to a human, generally. Obviously there are exceptions and it gets super complicated and blah blah blah blah blah blah, but for something like torture/experimentation, where pain is the important issue, non-human animals and humans aren't really distinguishable in any principled way that keeps mentally retarded people in the "don't experiment on" category. Therefore, if you have a problem doing something to a baby with mental retardation, you should have a problem doing it to an animal.

    you want me to be logically consistent so I'm doing my best here, which is why I'm being so ridiculous cause common sense isn't always logically consistent

    we institutionalize babies and mentally handicapped people like we institutionalize pets - we restrict their freedom in order to best prevent them from impinging on the freedoms of others. They no longer have access to the power necessary to do harm to other individuals with that right.

    It makes sense to me that as long as persons who ought to have the right of freedom are still getting killed and tortured and enslaved, actions should be performed to prevent their death, pain, or enslavement, regardless of whether the perpetrators have enough good sense in their heads to determine right from wrong or not.

    If we include animals in this group then the era of dog eat dog must end for the second dog's sake; otherwise, we are passively allowing a crime to happen when we have the power to prevent it. Animals enslave other animals, and the victims are brainwashed into being second class citizens in the colony or herd, forced to fight against their own kind or even family. Other animals kill the young of more able species and replace them with impostors that they're too lazy to care for. Horrible stuff happens in the animal kingdom all the time, and animals perpetrate this, and I'm not entirely sure we can control for this and still maintain the standard of society as it is today.

    Basically, we have problems doing stuff to animals that we're okay with doing to babies, but they're more logistic in nature

    Paladin on
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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    Yes, you're definitely right about all of that. The horrible shit animals do to each other sucks, and there's probably nothing we can do about it. Maybe we could invent everything in Star Trek and via some combination of the holdeck, phasers, and replicators we could fix predation and so on. Whatever, not going to happen. Animals killing each other is for all intents and purposes unfixable, at least for the foreseeable future. The same is not true about human experimenting on animals, which is incredibly easy to fix.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    I'm still reeling from that perfect is the enemy of good quote, which I'm starting to hate, because now you've got to consider how much we really need to work on teaching animals to obey laws as a national goal as opposed to stem cell research and making brain injury models.

    I think I've found that it's not so much that perfect is the enemy of good rather than good is the enemy of perfect. So many times we resort to half measures in order to get the most moral coverage instead of investing in one thing to make a difference at the cost of others. In the end, I think, feeling good about myself is not as important as actually reaching a goal I want to achieve.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    There are two questions. Question 1 is "what is the 'perfect' answer?" Question 2 is "if we can't achieve the 'perfect' answer, what should we do now?" I think we should try to answer both questions, and I've been mostly answering question 1: ideally we don't do anything to non-human animals that we wouldn't do to humans, because to argue otherwise is indefensible without resorting to blind prejudice, which I think is not okay. Question 2 is more complex, but I think when it comes to something like painful experimentation it's not too hard, because we can do the thing the perfect answer says we should do without many problems.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Does the ban on primate research hamper our advancement of science? Also, what's the reason for it? If it's "we can get the same results for less harm", cool, go for it. If its "wook at his wittle face" then the reasoning gets wonky for me.

    That's sort of reasoning-from-cuteness is often brought up as a foil in these sorts of conversations. The best arguments against animal experimentation do not use any such appeals, however; rather, they appeal to alleged parallels between animals and low-functioning humans like babies and the severely retarded who we, one supposes, would not countenance any such experiments on. This is just a straightforward appeal to consistency, and has nothing to do with how adorable anything is.

    This does suppose that the reason we don't experiment on the severely retarded is an inherently rational one.

  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Yes, you're definitely right about all of that. The horrible shit animals do to each other sucks, and there's probably nothing we can do about it. Maybe we could invent everything in Star Trek and via some combination of the holdeck, phasers, and replicators we could fix predation and so on. Whatever, not going to happen. Animals killing each other is for all intents and purposes unfixable, at least for the foreseeable future. The same is not true about human experimenting on animals, which is incredibly easy to fix.

    Which is actually kind of my point. We can't do anything about animal predation, because they need it to survive. We do what we can in certain aspects in ways of predator free islands (but for conservation efforts, not some sort of moral reasoning)

    We're also not at a point to stop research involving animals/humans. Doing so means many more people will die in the long run, diseases will remain uncured etc.

    I don't think they had any animal lab testing in Star Trek if that helps.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    I think that's basically the rationale now, where we limit the number of experiments involving uncompromised pain to the questions that really need answering, and we hold off on the rest.

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    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.
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    I think that's basically the rationale now, where we limit the number of experiments involving uncompromised pain to the questions that really need answering, and we hold off on the rest.

    That basically what I was trying to say. I know there's a need for animals for research. I do value human lives more than animals. However, I don't think a lot of these posted extreme examples of 'science' are at all justified based on what they were trying to accomplish. Playing Frankenstien isn't going to cure cancer or AIDS, and I doubt anyone researching immortality is serious going to consider plugging someone's head onto a monkey's as a viable solution even if it COULD work.

    I'd eat a dog if I was in China, but I'd feel pretty furious if I saw one getting beaten to death or cut on for no reason.

    manwiththemachinegun on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Actually if you can plug someone's head onto a monkey's body and have it work you'd probably get a nobel prize for the advances it would make in preserving brain function after extreme trauma

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    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.
  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    Also create a whole new fetish.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    Yeah but then you'd eventually end up with

  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    I think this thread, and its timing is interesting. I am working on a medicinal chemistry project for my PhD - the target is an obesity associated enzyme - and we've actually just reached the point where we're making material to try in mice. Fortunately, I don't have to handle the animals directly, our collaborator handles that end of the project.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    I think this thread, and its timing is interesting. I am working on a medicinal chemistry project for my PhD - the target is an obesity associated enzyme - and we've actually just reached the point where we're making material to try in mice. Fortunately, I don't have to handle the animals directly, our collaborator handles that end of the project.
    This is the example of the sort of thing that I think is hard to defend. I mean, obesity? Has that ever been a problem until the modern day when we managed to get some lifestyles going that allow certain unlucky people to get super duper fat and end up saddled with associated health problems? I can definitely understand why someone would want to do non-human animal testing to cure something like an epidemic threatening to kill a bunch of people (just like I can understanding wanting to use human subjects for the very same reason), but something like obesity? Would we test obesity cures on unwilling humans? If not, why should we test them on unwilling animals?

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    I think that's basically the rationale now, where we limit the number of experiments involving uncompromised pain to the questions that really need answering, and we hold off on the rest.

    In many respects these days, the researchers involved usually are avoiding doing things they wouldn't do to themselves. Medical experimentation, for it's history of misuse, also has a long history of self-experimentation by people who have to know if they're right or not.

    The most recent example were the guys who pinned down the cause of stomach ulcers to an actual pathogen.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    While a horrifying prospect, I'm not sure vivisection experiments were inherently useless.

    For example, if it turned out you could attach the dismembered head of a monkey to the body of another for a meaningful length of time that seems like the kind of medical knowledge that would be useful.

    Or the zombie dog experiment, while sickening me to my stomach would have fairly important ramifications if it worked out.

    Which isn't to say that the end is worth the means, but simply that the early characterizations of "for the lols" are misrepresentations.

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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
    Julius wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    Does the ban on primate research hamper our advancement of science? Also, what's the reason for it? If it's "we can get the same results for less harm", cool, go for it. If its "wook at his wittle face" then the reasoning gets wonky for me.

    That's sort of reasoning-from-cuteness is often brought up as a foil in these sorts of conversations. The best arguments against animal experimentation do not use any such appeals, however; rather, they appeal to alleged parallels between animals and low-functioning humans like babies and the severely retarded who we, one supposes, would not countenance any such experiments on. This is just a straightforward appeal to consistency, and has nothing to do with how adorable anything is.

    This does suppose that the reason we don't experiment on the severely retarded is an inherently rational one.

    This is true; you can go the other way on both and still maintain consistency.

    MrMister on
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    While a horrifying prospect, I'm not sure vivisection experiments were inherently useless.

    For example, if it turned out you could attach the dismembered head of a monkey to the body of another for a meaningful length of time that seems like the kind of medical knowledge that would be useful.

    Or the zombie dog experiment, while sickening me to my stomach would have fairly important ramifications if it worked out.

    Which isn't to say that the end is worth the means, but simply that the early characterizations of "for the lols" are misrepresentations.

    Though I'd say we're a bit past the time when we had to blindly do things to see if they work. With the knowledge we've accumulated, some part due to experiments like those, we're no longer in the dark.

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  • Grey PaladinGrey Paladin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Paladin wrote: »
    Animals have sentience and are wrong, therefore animals should be banned from eating other animals
    I don't think this is an actual trap, fellow paladin. This line of reasoning evokes a negative response due to the realization that the conclusion of ethics is significantly different than what many people would like it to be. "This makes me sad so it can't be true".

    Our moral system is based on the twin notions of harm and consent. Harm is acting on someone to change their state against their consent. Harming someone has been deemed acceptable if the person being harmed violates the consent of another on what society has deemed as a more important issue. Animal kind eats and kills one another and cannot be taught differently. Thus the only ethical option is to wipe it out. Killing them might be deemed unethical by some, but preventing them from breeding and causing them to die out within a generation seems like the most humane path we have.

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  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Animals can't have human rights because they can't sign the social contract. We can't let lions just walk around in our cities, because unlike people, we can't teach lions that it is wrong to kill people, and so by expecting them to follow our rules, we would be setting them up for failure and punishments which they cannot avoid. It is better to recognize that a lion is a lion, not a man, and to treat it fundamentally different than we would treat a man. We treat animals with respect because we are compassionate, but since they are not part of the social contract and have not made the sacrifices all humans make to live in society, it seems incorrect to talk about an animal's "rights."

    Personally, I think we should limit animal studies to those that are neccesary as a matter of compassion, but I also think we have a right to perform whatever experiments we deem neccessary on them, since we are not capable of violating their rights.

    That said, I would literally kill a person who was trying to hurt one of my cats, no question, so I would value my cats over other people.

    This topic ties into something which I think about from time to time. How would we feel about performing experiments on golems of flesh that are biologically identical to adult humans but created from whole cloth in a lab? What if the whole reason they were created was for the experiment? What if one limitation of these golems was that they only had a life span long enough for the experiment to be performed and then would automatically die? What if thry were robots with perfect AI and we wanted to use them in psych experiments? Personally, I think we could probably treat them similar to animals. At the very least, I think it would be better to experiment on them than on "real humans."

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