Reducing suffering

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chenda
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Reducing suffering

Post by chenda » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:59 pm

Some interesting articles on this blog I found, especially with regard to how to reduce wild animal suffering, ethical issues with wilderness preservation, effective altruism and the like.

https://reducing-suffering.org/#Wild-animal_suffering
Given that most wild animals that are born have net-negative experiences, loss of wildlife habitat should in general be encouraged rather than opposed. Moreover, consideration of our impacts on wild animals is essential before we can draw conclusions in other areas, such as whether to reduce or increase meat consumption.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Reducing suffering

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:42 am

I disagree with this blogger on multiple levels, the first of which would be greatly valuing reduction of suffering over freedom, but it made me think of this award-winning short animation which I once accidentally showed to a group of 1st graders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0a0aNqTehM

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Ego
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Re: Reducing suffering

Post by Ego » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:58 am

@chenda, I love topics like this. I can't find a flaw in his arguments yet my mind is still repelled by the idea.

I especially liked this quote:

"John Armstrong, a British writer, and philosopher at The School Of Life, sees a gulf between human aspiration for justice and ethics and the laws of nature. Often we feel that something that is "evil" is against the natural order of things, or, as Armstrong put it, "at odds with everything one might hope for".

But perhaps the opposite is actually true: it is "bad" behaviour that is natural and successful. "What's surprising is how amazingly well (though still very imperfectly) human beings have tried to reverse this natural arrangement," he says.

anesde
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Re: Reducing suffering

Post by anesde » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:59 pm

I’ll preface by saying I just skimmed through and didn’t read the whole thing so if there was a “I gotcha!” moment in this I didn’t pick it up.

I think this is utterly ridiculous and a waste of a perfectly good webpage. Life isn’t sunshine and rainbows - if you want to cage the zebra so the lion doesn’t eat it what do you do with the lion? Cage that and have it eat...an old zebra that died of old age? It’s an unsustainable viewpoint that gives a godlike complex to humans to say we know better to decide what’s best for the poor animals.

The animals would all be better off if humans weren’t around, not if we imposed our sentient viewpoints in them.

George the original one
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Re: Reducing suffering

Post by George the original one » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:17 pm

As anesde notes, the only way the blog author can support their position is by dismissing ecology (interdependencies of the web of life). By dismissing ecology, then they can make humans the safekeepers of all. But humans, as a group, have already proven we aren't capable of being the safekeepers.

chenda
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Re: Reducing suffering

Post by chenda » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:27 pm

@ego - Yes that quote is along the lines of what I've been pondering.

Like any radical new idea its going to attract a lot of flak, and its such a complex issue I don't think we are ready to deal with it. But it could be an important issue in the future. As humans encroach into the last wilderness areas, our ability to manipulate genetics increases and understanding of consciousness increases, wild animal suffering is going to be harder to ignore.

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