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First off, let me just say that I believe in the death penalty 100%. I think it is philosophically and morally justified to execute anyone who has murdered another human being. There are few mitigating circumstances that excuse this behavior.
When someone does something wrong, they have to make up for it completely. If a person take a life, the only way to make up for it is to forfeit theirs.
However, we have one major problem: application.
People have, and will, be executed even though they are innocent of the crime. We may never know, 100%, if someone has or has not committed the crime of murder. There is no way to make up for the mistake, there is no way to bring a person back to life.
Unless we can come up with a system that almost always guarantees a fair trial with a correct verdict, I don't think it is right to put innocent people at risk.
Right now, though, I am not convinced that our system is accurate enough to make me comfortable with execution. If we could get it to 90-99% accuracy, I would be fine. But it looks abit more like 60-70% accuracy at this point.
I am sorry to hear that most gays are kissing directly in front of your children. At the last meeting of the International Gay Alliance, we discussed our laws on kissing in public. From 1996-2009 we've had a policy of "1 kiss a month, in front of children". That was our minimum amount of kissing in front of children.
However, at the beginning of 2010 we are changing the policy to "1 kiss and two hugs a month, in front of children and old people". This should relieve the pressure on your kids, because we can kiss/hug in front of either children or old people.
I expect at least a 50% reduction in gays acting gay in front of you and your family. I hope that satisfactory.
If not, please call the Gay Service Hotline: 1-800-GAYNUSA
First: Source on this. Both an article on the occurrence from an unbiased source as well as evidence of the supposed "liberal media" position.
Secondly: I have no idea why Conservatives would promote waste in government. Shouldn't the officers have used enough bullets, not an ungodly amount? The guy couldn't have been standing after one bullet entered his body, much less 10-20-30-40-50-60-70-80 bullets.
Sounds abit retributive, sounds personal. Which is understandable, but sort of a waste of money.
To put it in blunt terms: why waste bullets on a criminal?
"Where capacity_for_pain might be 1 for humans and .01 for cows and .000001 for shrimp."
Okay, then cows get .o1 of the rights that humans enjoy. Please explain what that would entail. Or is there no correlation between sentience and rights? As long as it falls above o on a sentience scale a creature gets equal rights to humans?
Sounds like the exact opposite of a utilitarian system. It's too inclusive to be useful, and it is to convoluted to work as a guide to moral behavior.
Whether it can perceived as a genetic disorder is inconsequential. Homosexuals don't have to make sure people don't come to false conclusions, that isn't our responsibility.
Secondly, homosexuality is not an "evolutionary dead-end" for a number of reasons:
1. Homosexuals can reproduce, we have been reproducing for a long time.
2. Not reproducing traditionally, or for the same reasons as straight people, is not detrimental to the species.
Even if we didn't reproduce at all ourselves, there is a reason why straight couples have been producing gay children for thousands of years. We do serve a purpose.
For every male homosexual born, there is one less competitor for straight males. The fact is, straight men greatly benefit every time a gay man is produced. It puts less pressure on mate selection and competition.
Additionally, women benefit from a male companion that will never be interested in reproducing with them. They find safety, and a male point of view without all the messy relationship and sex stuff.
Also, because we are no longer a primitive society, with a primitive economy and a need to reproduce as much as possible as a simple matter of survival, there are lots more reasons to exist. A diverse modern economy needs as many points of view as possible. Homosexuals contribute a unique point of view and can create unique works of art, literature, technology, and political processes.
1. I am gay, people know I am gay. I don't understand what "trying to fit in" means. I am not flamboyant (subjective), and I am not "straight acting"(subjective). I am an individual with an individual personality. Most people can't tell right off the bat that I am gay, usually. Sometimes I can appear more feminine, sometimes I seem more masculine. It depends on my mood, the day, and which aspects of my individual personality I feel the need to express. Also, the more people get to know me the more they...you know...know who I am.
You do realize that when people date other people, everyone they know generally knows that. It is pretty normal for people to know about each others relationships. And word gets around anyways.
"2. If someone was persecuted for some genetic reason then i would call that a disorder because persecution is a bad trait, something that is inherently harmful/detrimental to the person."
Really now? So black people are a genetic disorder? Or..at least, their pigment is a genetic disorder? What about white people? What about Asians? Generally speaking, genetic disorders don't go away given what culture or situation a person is in.
Under your definition, white skin is a genetic disorder if a white individual is living in Gambia and is being persecuted by those with black skin. And, if a straight person lives in a predominantly homosexual neighborhood and is harassed for being straight, they suddenly have a genetic disorder too!
Also, is it a genetic disorder only when certain people are around? If I am around gay-friendly people, am I temporarily cured? If I am around bigots does my "genetic disorder" come back?
Could you please contact your local professor of biology and have them inform you of what the standard definition of "genetic disorder" is. I think you would greatly benefit from the explanation.
The word "inherently" is used improperly. People reacting to the effects of, or the knowledge of a trait is not considered inherent.
1. conscious: capable of feeling and perception
a sentient being
2. responding with feeling: capable of responding emotionally rather than intellectually
1 : responsive to or conscious of sense impressions
2 : aware
3 : finely sensitive in perception or feeling
1 archaic : watchful, wary
2 : having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
Let me put it this way, you are equating an extremely basic, rough, and extremely applicable definition of "sentience" with human "sentience".
I don't hold that you are using sentience in its correct context, just abusing its various meanings. Words have specific, contextual definitions.
Human sentience, which is our current context, is inapplicable in almost all animals without debate. Some come close to human sentience, but no case has shown "awareness" (the defining characteristic of sentience in human beings) definitively in any animal.
If you are going to afford animals the same rights as humans, based on sentience, they need to have the same sentience as humans. If they have less sentience, they have less rights. And, in this context, we are talking about human sentience.
Since no animal has human sentience, or awareness, they are afforded no rights and may be eaten at will.
It is entirely irrelevant that you've found a definition of the word "sentience" that you can apply to animals you wish to protect. It is a "sentience" that is far removed from the context.
Let me be more clear: we can keep quibbling from occurring by resting our definition of sentience on what humans have. If you accept that there are many definitions of sentience (which there are), in the context of this debate we are talking about human sentience and granting human rights to animals based on the level of human sentience they have.
They have none, for they are not human or on the level of humans. They may have what you could call "animal sentience", but that is inferior to human sentience and therefor human morals are inapplicable.
You'd have to develop a moral system based entirely on animal sentience, and decide whether that moral system is equal to humans. To do THAT, you need objective criteria.
Technically speaking, animal sentience needs to create its own morals (just as human sentience did). Because animals cannot do that, and humans can, animals have no morals and actions from or towards them cannot be judged on a moral scale. Humans, who generate moral-making sentience, can be judged according to morality and may be forced to play by moral rules.
However, moral rules only cover beings that have morals. Anything that does not fall under moral rules can have anything done to it. Like: Hammers, Squid, Planets, Atoms..etc.
The only time morals can play a role is if a human-sentient being is affecting another human-sentient being.
"Subjective sensations of good and bad are the foundation of any system of ethics."
And my subjective sensations are different than yours. Which is what I was saying.
Sentience is the conscious perception of one's own being and of the world around. It is the ability to conceptualize the world, to come up with abstract and subjective thoughts. That's been the traditional meaning, which you obviously were not aware of.
No animal known has the ability to conceptualize abstractions or understand itself, most animals cannot even recognize a mirrored reflection of themselves. Certain Monkeys and Apes come somewhat close, but, again, we don't generally eat them.
There is no semantic quibbling here, you simply are misusing a term. You are equating emotions, impulses, and feelings with the ability to engage in intellectual capacities of conception and understanding.
I have been trying to get you to define sentience, hoping you'd notice that you don't actually have a definition whatsoever. You just heard the word and decided to apply it emotionally, not logically.
Anyways, capacity for pain is not sentience. There are alot of animals you probably wouldn't eat that don't feel pain at all. There are generally no invertebrates that feel pain: lobsters, shrimp, mussels, crabs,..etc. It just so happens that the vast majority (over 90%) of all animals on earth are invertebrates. Even many types of vertebrates, such as fish, do not feel pain.
So, the best you've got there is a ban on cows and most other mammals. Otherwise, you are allowing people to eat the vast majority of animals on Earth.
That, of course, is if I even accepted the "pain threshold", so to speak. Which I do not. I see no reason why the experience of pain protects an animal from being eaten. You can try out some moral mumbo-jumbo, but those are random value judgments which aren't based on anything objective. If I don't value what you value, any moral argument is going to be useless.
It's hard to have a gradient when there are only two distinct options: eat or do not eat.
If we determine an animal to be "half-sentient" we cannot "half-eat" it and expect it to live. I doubt you advocate having a policy of eating an entire insect, a half of a frog, or a leg of a goat (and no more).
At any rate, you're going to have to back up your point of view by telling me which animals are okay to eat and which are not. Unless you have other criteria that makes all animals off limits, whether they have central nervous systems or not.
Secondly, sentience is not simple intelligence and simple emotions. It's abit more than that. Most animals have rudimentary intelligence, they can solve simple tasks and engage in simple behaviors, even without brains.
Also, humans have the tendency to lay emotions on animals that do not necessarily have them. Many studies have shown that we project our personalities onto other animals, especially our pets.
That said, some simple emotions may still be found in some animals. But, again, emotions do not make a sentient being.