Is it immoral to fish for pleasure?
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@ Sapporo, depends on the fish being old enough, but I'm not really sure how you know if it was consensual.
I'm not a Jain, but long ago, after killing quite a number of things, I decided never to kill anything again, unless I had to eat it or to defend myself from it. I think all life is precious, alien, fish, or bugs. I have found I have too much respect and childlike awe for living things to want to destroy any of it. However I don't feel remorse for ants I tread on. We all live in a very predatory dangerous hazardous accident prone world. Things get killed. Aliens abduct people. Over the years I have accidently run over several marsupial animals late at night in my car on country roads and killed them. Not nice, but I don't brood over it, that's life. Their sentience levels mean nothing to me. I love spiders and wasps as much as any other creatures and who the hell knows what they feel or even think.
I'd go a roast alien if I had to, just to survive.
@ Grinseed: "I decided never to kill anything again, unless I had to eat it or to defend myself from it."
And that has been my life long viewpoint. Just never actually worded it until you did so.
If you think fishing for fun is immoral (sinful) then you should do what Yeshua said you should do to avoid sinning so that you won't end up in hell (Matthew 5:29-30). But remember, if you cut off your hands or gouge out your eyes you won't be able to do a lot of other things that are not sinful. Maybe you should become an artist and paint images of fish. Oh, that is sinful as well. Build an ark and save the fish.
I do wonder how (not why) atheists that take on a materialist and reductionist approach can be against causing pain. Pain is just information, no different from visual or auditory information. Causing pain is therefore no different from flashing a blue light into someone's eyes, or a song into someone's ear.
In fact, I can take the same stimuli (small electrical shock) and when I deliver it to your visual receptor cells you'll see flashes of color, to your tongue and you'll experience a taste, or your lips and you'll experience pain.
We've seen this same type of reduction used in this forum to justify abortion: A fetus is "nothing but" a collection of cells. And here, pain is "nothing but" sensory information.
"Pain is just information, no different from visual or auditory information."
You have an uncanny knack for framing things with the most absurd hyperbole John. I have seldom read anything so obviously erroneous. There are laws against deliberately causing someone unnecessary physical pain, there are no laws against singing into someone's ear, though sometimes I think there clearly ought to be. They're certainly don't have moral parity, that idea is demonstrably absurd.
"I do wonder how (not why) atheists that take on a materialist and reductionist approach can be against causing pain."
I don't see why? Though I do wonder how theists can claim their religion gives them objective morality, and then talk of context interpretation, and metaphor when deciding which bits of it to jettison?
"We're seen this same type of reduction used in this forum to justify abortion: A fetus is "nothing but" a collection of cells. And here, pain is "nothing but" sensory information."
I don't think I have ever seen this used unilaterally to "JUSTIFY" an abortion. Though I have seen religious apologists frame it in this dishonest fashion countless times of course. knowing if a foetus can experience pain, or when, are vital if one is to make an informed decision about whether an abortion can be morally justified, assuming one cares about causing pain of course. However the moral justification for abortion is not entirely supported by the knowledge a foetus is incapable of experiencing pain, though the knowledge it might experience it's own termination, by enduring physical and emotional pain are strong arguments against allowing it to be terminated at the point in its development beyond which it would be capable of experiencing such pain.
Care to give some example of why viewing pain as information no different from visual information is so obviously erroneous? Surely you have something more physiological pertinent than government laws.
As for the skin argument, it's fairly common. It doesn't make sense for someone making this comparison to be in favor of abortion but not destroying skin cells. In addition, even causing someone (or a fish) to lose blood, as graphic as it might look doesn't imply pain. I would argue quiet the opposite. With the exception of increased thirst, bleeding something to death is increasingly less painful, given that your consciences awareness fades away as you black out, making you less aware of any sensation
ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy
"Care to give some example of why viewing pain as information no different from visual information is so obviously erroneous?"
It's not, but then you never said viewing them, you said "causing them"... to someone was no different.
Wed, 11/14/2018 - 09:23
ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy
"Causing pain is therefore no different from flashing a blue light into someone's eyes, or a song into someone's ear.
Given we're discussing morality I'd have thought it obvious why that was erroneous, but it seems you just worded it poorly.
"As for the skin argument, it's fairly common. It doesn't make sense for someone making this comparison to be in favor of abortion but not destroying skin cells."
Who's in favour of abortion? Or did you mean those who don't oppose it? You see those are two very different positions. Not opposing something doesn't mean you are in favour of it. Anymore than pointing out that a foetus below a certain level of development can't experience physical or emotional pain is an argument *FOR an abortion, or (on its own) even a justification for an abortion. It is however a moral imperative (for those who base their morals on trying not to cause suffering) to know that a foetus cannot experience such pain before an informed moral decision can be made. On it's own the knowledge doesn't "justify" an abortion. It's a very important moral distinction. Someone in a coma may be unable to feel pain. this doesn't justify killing them.
"In addition, even causing someone (or a fish) to lose blood, as graphic as it might look doesn't imply pain. I would argue quiet the opposite. "
Argue away, I have never said otherwise?
"I do wonder how (not why) atheists that take on a materialist and reductionist approach can be against causing pain. Pain is just information, no different from visual or auditory information."
I'd say that pain isn't the problem. Suffering is. Some people enjoy certain kinds of pain, and giving them pain of that sort could actually be kind and enjoyable. But playing a song in someone's ear that they associate with a traumatic event, leaving them crying on the floor because of the emotional association that song has to a past event? That's immoral. That's causing suffering.
Right, but don't you think things such suffering go above reductionism and materialism, into the realm of meaning, idealism, and psychology? A concept such as suffering is still reducible to its neural correlates. For example, say we find the region of the brain most active during suffering. Under the microscope, is there a meaningful difference between those neurons, and the neurons of another location that make you feel joy and happiness? There doesn't appear to be any, except in the way such activation is experienced by our conscious awareness.
"Right, but don't you think things such suffering go above reductionism and materialism, into the realm of meaning, idealism, and psychology?"
It may go beyond reductionism, but it stays in the realm of materialism. Our experiences are a result of a physical reality in our brains, bodies, environment, etc. And the term "suffering" is really just a name that we give to a certain kind of experience/behavior that is maladaptive. It makes sense that we have an instinct to avoid causing suffering because it harms our communities and our ability to survive and thrive (though we have the instinct to care more deeply about the suffering of those close to us than those with whom we're less closely connected).
But there's the problematic phrase again: suffering "is really just" or "nothing but..."
I don't agree that morality and meaning can be reduced the way physical entities can. Suffering, right, and wrong, cannot be reduced without losing the meaning that makes them what they are. Water in contrast easily reduces to H2O.
"Suffering, right, and wrong, cannot be reduced without losing the meaning that makes them what they are."
We can make objective observations about suffering, and this axiomatically helps us decide about what is right and wrong, but right and wrong remain subjective observations.
Untangle that knot for me.. what?
Is there a need to keep going back to reductionism? I personally believe things can be reduced to infinity, we just don’t have the means to understand it. Should we reduce suffering further than synapses in the brain causing a chain reaction of negativity? I don’t see the need to, that alone is enough to correlate to ones sense of empathy. Am I missing the point you’re trying to make?
I wouldn't say I'm making a point, its more of a question. The thing about reduction is that it cannot lose its essence or identity in the process. So water can be said to reduce to H2O, but if you reduce it any further than that you no longer have water; you'll have protons or electrons, which are indistinguishable from other things like oil.
You cannot reduce the experience of suffering down to the neurons that produce it, without losing its essence. I should also mention that's the reason why theories of consciousness like IIT, begin with the axioms of consciousness first, and then look for matter than might have it, such as neurons, computers, colonies of bacteria etc. The problem becomes a lot harder to solve when you begin with matter (the brain), and try to extract mind out of it.
So the question is, what do people who are strict reductionists or materialists, do with things such as suffering?
Just because it is difficult for the human brain to understand it’s own function does not mean that it isn’t the truth of the matter. I consider myself a materialist, in the broad sense that there is no soul, only chemical interactions at the most basic level. Just because I’m not equipped to fully grasp how it works without losing myself in the complexity of it doesn’t change the fact that that is exactly what’s happening. You can claim that suffering cannot be reduced without losing its meaning, but I would say it cannot be reduced without losing its meaning to YOU (you being a human). If we take artificial intelligence, for instance, which is advancing steadily now, and inputted code for “suffering” as we know it, would that understanding of suffering still suffice? There is chemical code in the human brain that causes suffering for various reasons, and yes, it can be reduced further without losing its meaning, because that reduction leads to its origin, not its definition.
I think there's a distinction between saying this originates from that, vs this reduces to that. I have no issues with origins, because I think things such as suffering originate from neurons, but cannot be reduced to them.
Suffering is a human concept to describe neurons firing in certain ways, and beyond that it would just reduce to the parts that make it. If you took a part of a car and claimed it to be a working model of a car, that would be ridiculous. Sometimes reducing just leads to more and more parts of a whole, which still added together equate to the full product, but jus confuses the human mind. It’s important to reduce, however, as that is the solution to a variety of issues regarding function of the whole product. Suffering itself need be reduced by neurologists or even psychiatrists to better treat trauma. It’s really all about how specific and how much information you need about suffering. If it is just for philosophizing then what good would reducing suffering be? I think this question is somewhat flawed, perhaps one should ask: In what situations would “suffering” need be reduced to its constituent parts, and why?”
Breezy "Untangle that knot for me.. what?"
Ay? You'll have to explain what that post means if it is meant for me.
"We can make objective observations about suffering, and this axiomatically helps us decide about what is right and wrong, but right and wrong remain subjective observations."
Well said. Right and wrong don't exist. They're subjective. But we can use objective reality to gather data that leads us to determining what we will and will not stand for.
I’ve always wondered this, but what does one do with a sociopath or psychopath who has no empathy for others? How do they get their right and wrong? If they use logic, it would be how could they best survive in society, by copying and emulating the people with emotions. But if everyone was a psycopath, what then? Would society develop more steadily, or would it devolve into isolated chaos? If we ascribe ourselves to be logical thinkers, should we not try to be more like psychopaths in the way we find right and wrong? By cutting out emotion from our deductions?
The majority of sociopaths and psychopaths in the world are not criminals. They do exactly what you describe and emulate the people around them in order to best survive in society. I'd guess that things might go similarly if more people were psychopaths, but who knows. Maybe we'd have a completely different way of determining which behaviors are acceptable. But it seems to me that the instinct to be compassionate and empathetic has served us very well and continues to do so. Throwing the compassion out with the bathwater seems unnecessary. Emotional instinct informed by logic seems like a solid way to go. But maybe I just say that because I'm a human whose judgment is clouded by emotion and I just need to become more psychopathic.
"Well said. Right and wrong don't exist. They're subjective. But we can use objective reality to gather data that leads us to determining what we will and will not stand for."
Thank you, I'd thought it was a reasonably clear point, I'm glad someone grasped it.
You seem to be saying that tickling the belly of a puppy is no different in a purely material sense, than gouging out it's eyes.
It seems the puppy's inevitable suffering isn't enough to deter some theists, they need to have an imaginary deity wag it's imaginary finger. Lets hope such theists never lose their faith.
That's a fair distinction, I think suffering is the key word as well. From a moral perspective I always say unnecessary pain, but unwanted and unnecessary might be more accurate.
This morality thing is complex mun, if only there were a perfectly moral and omniscient being that could lay it all out for us in unambiguous and definitive way...***COUGH***.
I really appreciate the main question of whether fishing for fun is immoral. I've struggled with these sorts of questions regarding eating meat and animal products. It seems obvious to me that not causing suffering is better than causing suffering. Catching a fish for fun, knowing that it is conscious and experiences pain, seems obviously selfish. In that action, I'm saying that the joy I experience while fishing is more important that the painful experience of the fish. And you could argue that to be a correct or incorrect evaluation.
I don't think there's a right answer here, but there is a question we can ask ourselves. To what lengths am I willing to go to reduce the suffering of other conscious beings? And for most, that answer is probably different for ourselves, our families, other humans, chimpanzees, pet dogs, pet fish, and fish in the river.
"I don't think there's a right answer here, but there is a question we can ask ourselves. "
That encapsulate my views on morality exactly, we question our actions because our evolved intellect enables it, and it is innate in us to empathise, not just with other humans, but other animals as well. I'd like to know exactly how much pain a fish suffers, but in lieu of that I will probably abstain from fishing. Though paradoxically I will still eat fish.
"To what lengths am I willing to go to reduce the suffering of other conscious beings? And for most, that answer is probably different for ourselves, our families, other humans, chimpanzees, pet dogs, pet fish, and fish in the river."
I agree, and necessarily so I think. I am reminded of a radio interview Ricky Gervais once gave, when asked what three things he'd rescue in the event of a house fire he said: "my laptop, I'll have to say the wedding album or she'll never forgive, and.....oh, lets say one of the twins."
Clearly he was being facetious, but the switch board was jammed for hours apparently, with people complaining. I am laughing right now remembering it.
"I'd like to know exactly how much pain a fish suffers, but in lieu of that I will probably abstain from fishing. Though paradoxically I will still eat fish."
Also, I love Ricky Gervais. Another fine quote of his: “Remember, if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing”
I see Breezy Brain is spewing his mind parasites and mental diarrhea. Everyone, don't forget to don your bunny suits.
Yeah, there is a lot of woo woo in this thread.