From: Tommy McCabe (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 18:20:40 MST
--- "Perry E. Metzger" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Tommy McCabe <email@example.com> writes:
> > If morality is subjective, then the morality which
> > says the Holocaust was the greatest thing in the
> > is every bit as good as the morality which
> > it.
> Of course. And, had the Nazis won, that would have
> been the morality
> being taught everywhere.
> As it turns out, I don't particularly like that
> morality -- it has a
> bad effect of leading to people attempting to kill
> me -- but I can't
> say there is some experiment we can conduct that
> demonstrates killing
> Gypsies is "wrong" but killing Reindeer is "okay".
> >> > Cheetahs and antelopes aren't sentient (that's
> >> > discussion entirely) aren't sentient and
> >> > can't negotiatie, at least not in the way
> humans do.
> >> Humans rarely negotiate with tuna before turning
> >> them into very tasty sushi.
> > A negotiation, at least in the way we understand
> > requires that both parties be sentient.
> What does "sentient" mean? Perhaps to a
> Jupiter-brain, we won't seem
> very sentient, but we *will* seem rather tasty.
> How different is it, after all?
> I try talking to a tuna about physics, it gives me
> no answer, and I
> conclude it isn't "sentient" the way I understand
> the term and eat it,
> ignoring its pain response as I slaughter it
> because, after all,
> they're just "animal reflexes".
> The Jupiter-brain tries sending me an advanced
> encoded signal asking
> my opinion on the solution to an astoundingly
> difficult math problem
> which won't even fit inside my skull when encoded 20
> bits to the
> atom. I give it no meaningful reply, it concludes
> I'm not sentient,
> and it decides to eat me, ignoring my pain responses
> which are, after
> all, just "animal reflexes".
> By the way, Tommy, eat any good pate de foie gras
> lately? Mmm, tasty.
I don't even know what that is. To rephrase: a
'sentient' organism is one that experiences qualia,
and thus has the opportunity to experience negative
qualia. I really don't have that good of an idea where
the dividing line is on Earth, and I am not too eager
to find out, because of people's tendency to
rationalize to justify hurting animals. I also think
that the question of objective vs. subjective won't be
decided until we understand qualia, since moralities
are usually defined in terms of them.
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