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Old 20-07-2007, 05:35 AM posted to talk.politics.animals,uk.environment.conservation,misc.rural,uk.rec.gardening,alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian
Dutch[_3_] Dutch[_3_] is offline
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2007
Posts: 20
Default Now even spiders, squid and lobsters could have rights, and abouttime too!

Rupert wrote:
On Jul 17, 5:30 am, Dutch wrote:
Rupert wrote:
On Jul 16, 7:31 pm, Dutch wrote:
Rupert wrote:
On Jul 16, 4:15 pm, Dutch wrote:
Rupert wrote:
I've given my argument yet again and demonstrated that your criticisms
of it are unsatisfactory.
Stating that your opponents must disprove your assertions is not a
convincing argument.
There's more to it than that. I've elaborated on why the burden of
proof lies where I claim it does.
You've done no such thing. You (and DeGrazia) can't support your
assertions so you attempt to force others to supply proof of the
contrary, its the oldest trick in the book. If you expect for one single
moment that such a tactic is going to meet with any success you are
dreaming. All it does is show to everyone that your position cannot be
argued on its merits.
I've explained exactly why the burden of proof lies where it does.

Everyone who proposes a point of view has an opportunity and an
obligation to provide supporting arguments for that view, if they hope
to persuade anyone that their point of view is worthwhile. Simply
shifting the entire burden to the other side is lazy and indicative of a
failed position.

I've given my argument plenty of times. I stated it very clearly in my
talk which you read. It's the argument from marginal cases. It
requires a response. No adequate response has been forthcoming.

An adequate response has been provided, you rejected it, the only reason
you can give is that you don't grasp what "capability" means. I submit
that something in your mind is blocking you from understanding a very
simple word.

is saying there is no "formal principle of justice". In that case,
there would have been no reason why advocates of slavery couldn't have
just said "blacks have lower moral status than whites, and that's all
there is to it." He's maintaining that somehow or other the case for
the abolition of slavery was made without the formal principle of
justice. He's given no explanation of how. You're making a big song
and dance about this essay you like so much. Yes, it's an interesting
essay, but it makes no real attempt to explain the crucial notion of
"capability". You don't understand the notion either, you've just
swallowed it hook, line, and sinker because you think it supports your

Saying "the burden is on you" just means "the argument from marginal
cases requires a reply". Unlike Ball, at some level you realize this,
because you're not content to just endlessly say "no, it requires no
reply, you're just shifting the burden", eventually you realize you
have to actually make an effort to rebut it. You think you've got a
rebuttal, but it's very weak. I've explained why. We can talk about it
more if you like.

Talk all you want, the rebuttal along with the essay is thorough and

Those who judge two different cases differently have to supply a
morally relevant difference between the two cases. The burden is on
them to show that the morally relevant difference exists.

Moralstat99 does just that, systematically and convincingly.

The crucial notion of "capability" is left completely without

It's OBVIOUS what capability means for Gods sake.

You're not reading the text critically. It's reasonable
to say "Oh, that's an interesting idea, I guess I'll have a look at
the thesis he refers to and see if there's anything in it". It's not
reasonable to say "He's demolished the argument from marginal cases".
I'm quite sure he himself would acknowledge that he hasn't given an
adequate explanation of the notion of "capability". When you encounter
something which you think is congenial to your position, you
completely suspend your critical faculties.

Bullshit, when YOU encounter something antagonistic to YOUR position you
somehow lose the ability to comprehend simple language.

It is
argued that "sentience" (including advanced intelligence) is the key
determinant for attributing moral significance to organisms, and that
rather than their being simply two categories, humans and animals, as
your argument implies, there are actually a plethora of levels of
sentience, humans being the highest, followed by great apes, other
mammals, birds, fish, and on down to insects, microscopic organisms and
plants. Moral significance is assigned according to the degree of
sentience possessed by each species. This explains the normal view of
humans and animals and it even accounts for the way you explain *your*
attitude towards the animals you kill in you daily life.

Cognitive capacities clearly *are* morally relevant in some contexts.
Species is not. He's trying to get around this by saying that all
humans have some special property which nonhuman animals don't have,
but he hasn't given an adequate account of what that property is.

Yes he has.

If this
weren't so, there would have been no way to argue for the emancipation
of black people.

Emancipation succeeded because advocates correctly argued out that there
is no difference in "sentience" (including advanced intelligence)
between white people and black people. Proponents of slavery had no
valid response.

The argument from marginal cases is analogous to this.

Except that it FAILS, while the argument for emancipation succeeds.

Those who argue that animals and humans should receive
equal consideration cannot make the argument that animals and humans
possess equal sentience, that is why you resort to shifting the burden.

The author of the essay you admire so much, and every
other serious scholar in animal ethics, would agree with me.

You should learn to avoid this little fallacy, it makes you look silly.

It's not a fallacy. Just stating the facts. The fact that you don't
realize they are facts is what makes you look silly.

No, the fact that you don't recognize a basic fallacy makes YOU look
silly, it also makes you a presumptuous twit, but we knew that.

Those who

want to argue that being human gives you a special moral status have
to explain why. Some think it can be done, some can't.

I just did it, re-read moralstat99. It is based on "sentience"
(including advanced intelligence). The actions of every human, including
you, confirms the correctness of this very intuitive conclusion.

I have read it. It's not good enough. No real attempt is made to
explain the crucial notion of "capability".

LOL! A human child has the capability to become a moral agent, a baby
chick does not.

To say DeGrazia does not support his assertions is palpable nonsense.
As you said to Derek, you're not evaluating the text honestly.

He goes to great lengths to support his contention that his opponents
have the burden of proof. As I stated, that is not the same as making a
positive argument for one's position.

It's a reasonable way to proceed, and it's not essentially different
to the way in which emancipation of black people was argued for.

Advocates of emancipation successfully described what were the basis for
rights and successfully argued that blacks held those attributes, as
whites do.

You can deny it all you want, but there's an argument here that has to
be seriously engaged with, and none of you are doing that.

You can deny it all you want, but there is *no* argument left that has
not been adequately dealt with, and if you were not so heavily
emotionally invested in your "Animal Liberation" agenda you might be
able to see that.

Not a single argument of mine has been adequately dealt with, and if
you were not so heavily emotionally invested in your anti-AR agenda
you might be able to see that.

I'm not invested at all. I don't belong to an "anti-AR" group like you
belong to an "Animal Liberation" group, in fact you're the local
president or some such thing. I don't advertise myself as a paid
lecturer on "anti-AR". I don't have a reputation to defend. YOU are the
one who is heavily invested, YOU. You can't see ANYthing that
contradicts your agenda.

Ball's alternative account of where
the burden of proof lies has serious problems, which I have explained.
He has given no satisfactory response.
I've provided a coherent point of view which refutes the argument from
marginal cases. It lays out a solid foundation which explains rights and
our relationship with animals.
You've given someone else's attempted rebuttal of the argument from
marginal cases, which we've talked about a bit and we'll talk about
some more.

The only thing left for you to say is that moralstat99 thoroughly and
convincingly refutes the Argument from Marginal Cases, one of the
fundamental pillars of the Animal Rights movement. The good news is,
Rupert, life goes on, the sun will still shine, brighter in the light of

As discussed above and elsewhere, this is complete crap. I've been
trying to be polite, unlike you, and express my objections in a
neutral, open-minded, measured way.

No you haven't, your arrogance isn't polite, you're smarmy, and you're
CLEARLY not neutral, and you're NOT open minded. You're full of shit.
Your mind is CLOSED for business.

There's obviously no point. You've
got the idea that this is some kind of unanswerable, knock-down
refutation. That's not the response of someone who's evaluating the
text critically and honestly. He's introduced a term "capability",
which he says is explained further in someone else's thesis, and can
be made the basis of an answer to the argument from marginal cases. He
hasn't made any real attempt to explain the term. It's just a
promissory note, nothing more. We'll have a look at the thesis and see
what we find.

Look all you want, the word is transparent.