How much do other animals suffer?

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NickNack
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Re: How much do other animals suffer?

Post by NickNack » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:37 am

@brimstoneSalad
The first factor I had in the back of mind after I asked the question but the second factor I had never thought of. I would agree the second point works on things that are not living but I'm unsure if it applies to plants. If we assume plants are sentient, then we have to ask "what are plants actively resisting" and that would most likely show us their desires. So do plants actively resist being destroyed? I'm not really sure.

And not to say I agree with this argument, I'm unsure about it, but what would you say to someone who says "but all sentience we have ever witnessed has always wanted to avoid its own body's destruction so why should it be any different with these sentient things?"

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:42 pm

NickNack wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:37 am
@brimstoneSalad
The first factor I had in the back of mind after I asked the question but the second factor I had never thought of. I would agree the second point works on things that are not living but I'm unsure if it applies to plants. If we assume plants are sentient, then we have to ask "what are plants actively resisting" and that would most likely show us their desires. So do plants actively resist being destroyed? I'm not really sure.
Rocks fall, does that mean they want to go down? Are we immoral to resist their active downward movement and stack them high?
Crystals in a saturated solution grow, does that mean they want to do that and it's immoral to remove them from that solution or stop their growth?

Just because a thing does something doesn't mean it wants to do that thing. Indication of want comes from things like operant conditioning.
NickNack wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:37 am
And not to say I agree with this argument, I'm unsure about it, but what would you say to someone who says "but all sentience we have ever witnessed has always wanted to avoid its own body's destruction so why should it be any different with these sentient things?"
Induction isn't a very strong argument here, but even so:

So nobody has ever committed suicide?
And in terms of animals, that's completely untrue; many animals (particularly insects) as part of mating seem to allow themselves to be eaten, or are eaten by their offspring, or even metamorphose into forms that don't last more than a day for reproduction.
Again, a thing doing something doesn't mean it wants to do the thing, but in terms of behavior there's no good reason to make that induction particularly since most of these plants are already what we call annuals and die on their own after going to seed.
The plants that are actually perennials aren't normally killed in agriculture, but rather we harvest their fruits and nuts and they go on to live many years.

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NickNack
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Post by NickNack » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:04 pm

@brimstoneSalad
So if operant conditioning is a method of learning that employs rewards and punishment, what exactly do we mean by reward and punishment and how do we determine if something is a reward or punishment?

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Post by NickNack » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:37 am

@brimstoneSalad
Hold up, you may have already answered this question in a previous post, let me check.

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Post by NickNack » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:45 am

@brimstoneSalad
The best of energy gave me an explanation of how we determine if something has operant conditioning but I don't want to assume you hold the same exact position so I'm still interested in your answers to the questions I asked.

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Post by zoey » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:20 am

Another facet to think about is this - what is suffering? Is delivery pain suffering? It is called a second birth in some old world cultures. As for the question, I am not sure if we can answer that question fully, as yet. There are videos of elephants anxious about their young. We can interpret that, because we get visual clues. The suffering bit is harder to perceive, we need to be empathetic enough to see/feel it. Do we have it in us to see it? Perhaps people with a robust personal code of ethics, are in a better position to answer the question.

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