Ok the I must conclude that you Do feel it is morally justifiable to cut open and experiment on a mentally handicapped child [conversation with a vivisector]

Ok then I must conclude that you DO feel it is morally justifiable to cut open and experiment on a mentally handicapped child.

May 16 ·

My conversation with David Jentsch and Dario Ringach 2 UCLA VIVISECTORS:

this is the link to the actual conversation and below is a a copy paste of it. http://speakingofresearch.com/2014/02/08/what-would-you-do/#comment-24317

alafair2010 on February 9, 2014 at 2:54 am

David Jentsch, can you answer a question? Why is it morally OK for you to experiment on an animal? When they feel pain, fear and dread just like us? I know this sounds simplistic but i am going to make a point and i need your reponse.

Reply

darioringach on February 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

We have offered our viewpoint in writing many times. You can start here. http://www.ringachlab.net/lab/Welcome_files/ringach_ajms.pdf

Basically, we would dispute your assumption of “just like us” in setting up the question. We would also dispute that most experiments involve pain and fear.

Would you have opposed the used of animals to develop the Polio vaccine for example? http://speakingofresearch.com/2011/02/01/the-monkeys-who-gave-summer-back-to-the-children/

And why?

Because all human and non-humabn animals have the same right to life and freedom?

Then, this is where we disagree.

Reply

alafair2010 on February 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Why do you think non human animals do not have the same right to life and freedom?

darioringach on February 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Why do you think they do?

alafair2010 on February 18, 2014 at 9:25 pm

and to that I would have to answer; I asked you first can you answer please?

darioringach on February 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

We already did. Search for ‘moral status’ in the blog.

Alafair on February 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm

would you mind putting it here just for convenience sake?

Reply

alafair2010 on February 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

ok just read your Moral Status post, so again I ask what would they need, in your view, to be entitled to that right?

Reply

alafair2010 on February 18, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Hello, are you going to answer??

Reply

Tom on February 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Alafair.

1) You probably ought to read this post. It is relevant to your current question and may well answer your follow up questions:

http://speakingofresearch.com/2012/04/12/objections-to-the-marginal-case-argument/

2) Demanding people answer your questions – especially when they are only tangentially related to the post in question – is not helpful.

On that note, please note the comment police: http://speakingofresearch.com/about/comments-policy/

Reply

alafair2010 on February 19, 2014 at 12:14 am

Ok, I read both but still does not answer my question; what would they need, in your view, to be entitled to that right?

darioringach on February 19, 2014 at 1:24 am

Rights, properly defined, are claims (or potential claims) to be exercised against another within a community of moral agents. Animals cannot have rights because they are not able to participate as autonomous rational agents in our moral community. You cannot bring a claim to a dog that attacked you. The dog cannot recognize your interests.

What is your answer?

alafair2010 on February 19, 2014 at 12:16 am

Tom is this your blog?

Reply

Tom on February 19, 2014 at 1:06 am

I founded Speaking of Research. The blog belongs to the whole Speaking of Research committee.

Reply

alafair2010 on February 19, 2014 at 1:36 am

Ok let me put it another way; what would have to happen (physically / mentally or otherwise) for animals to become autonomous rational agents?

Reply

darioringach on February 19, 2014 at 1:44 am

They should be able to play by mutually agreed societal rules of behavior. They should be able to behave according to such rules even it means acting contrary to their own interests in order to protect the rights of others.

alafair2010 on February 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Please define “mutually agreed societal rules of behavior” and who does this apply to?

Reply

Tom on February 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Mutually agreed societal rules applies to both parties. An example might be an agreement not to kill or steal – both parties must mutually understand it, and understand that the other one understands it.

Reply

alafair2010 on February 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm

So it is OK to experiment on those that don’t mutually understand it, and understand that the other one understands it.?

Reply

darioringach on February 21, 2014 at 3:26 am

Those that fail to play by the rules of mutual engagement, depending on their violation, may be giving up their right to freedom. For example, an animal rights extremist that firebombs a house of someone she disagrees with, risks having her freedom taken away from her. Could one experiment on such individuals? As a matter of fact, some animal rights philosophers have actually argued in favor of this. See for example — http://speakingofresearch.com/2013/10/29/some-animal-rights-philosophers-say-the-darndest-things/. I personally disagree.

So, why do you think all living beings deserve the same rights to life and freedom?

Reply

alafair2010 on February 21, 2014 at 5:52 am

Im trying to make a point and the last response went off in the wrong direction. You had said previously that “Animals cannot have rights because they are not able to participate as autonomous rational agents in our moral community.” So I am wondering if that is the barometer of whether one has rights or not?

And I would never firebomb anyones house ()

darioringach on February 21, 2014 at 5:55 am

Yes, that’s what I think… You cannot have rights without accepting the basic responsibility of respecting the rights of others. Non-human animals simply cannot understand this notion.

I never said that you would bomb anyone’s house. But certainly some animal rights extremists have done these things.

alafair2010 on February 21, 2014 at 6:19 am

So again in your opinion it is ok to experiment on those that cannot accept the basic responsibility of respecting the rights of others?

I would really like to know at what point is it ok to experiment on someone. ( someone: any sentient being) ?

darioringach on February 21, 2014 at 6:30 am

It is acceptable when a subject simply volunteers (such as a patient facing a terminal disease) when in full control of his/her cognitive abilities and accept the risks involved. There is plenty of human-based research. It is also morally justifiable (which is very different as saying it morally obligatory, or simply “Ok” as you say) to use non-human animals in cases where no other options appear viable, when the benefits in advancing knowledge and human/animal health are explained, and where all efforts are made to alleviate any pain or discomfort via the use of analgesics and anesthetics. The reason is that we do not believe all living beings have the same interests in life as that of a human being. All moral philosophers recognize this fact, from Peter Singer to Tom Regan. When facing moral decisions that pit human vs non-human life, the same things are not at stake. Animal experimentation is one such moral dilemma.

alafair2010 on February 25, 2014 at 9:01 pm

But is it only “same interests in life” that allows you to experiment on them or not? Is that the deciding factor? What is the deciding factor whether a sentient being is experimented on or not? is there an absolute deciding factor? [referring to those that cannot consent verbally]

Reply

darioringach on February 25, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Scientists view the work as a situation analogous to a burning house scenario where you can save only one — a human or a mouse. In that situation, all animal rights philosophers agree that it makes sense to save the human. To many scientists, not doing the research implies people that could have been saved due to the development of new therapies and cures would die and there is no other option (at the moment) to advance the work without the use of animals in research. We could also let the mice live, but with the understanding that people will die because the research will not be done. Those that support research face the moral dilemma and decide it is permissible to do the work until new methods and technologies allow us to do away with the use of animals. Others prefer to deny there is a moral dilemma. One way to do so is to declare all living beings have the same right to life and freedom as any other human being. We disagree.

Reply

Alafair on March 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm

please you are not getting my point; i want to know, standing in front of you a human and an animal, what makes one less of a life that you would say im going to cut you open to one and give the other a pass. what is that? Is it because all the reasons you gave above, “cannot consent verbally” , “cannot accept the basic responsibility of respecting the rights of others”, “all living beings do no have the same interests in life as that of a human being” , “You cannot have rights without accepting the basic responsibility of respecting the rights of others.” , “Animals cannot have rights because they are not able to participate as autonomous rational agents in our moral community.” , “They should be able to play by mutually agreed societal rules of behavior. They should be able to behave according to such rules even it means acting contrary to their own interests in order to protect the rights of others.” ? Is this the total reasons? Are there any-other or is this all?

Reply

darioringach on March 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

I will try one last time, but I do not think we will be able to communicate.

I will simply cite the animal philosophers themselves this time –

Peter Singer writes, “ […]to take the life of a being who has been hoping, planning and working for some future goal is to deprive that being of the fulfillment of those efforts; to take the life of a being with a mental capacity below the level needed to grasp that one is a being with a future — much less make plans for the future — cannot involve this particular kind of loss.”

Tom Regan agrees “[…] the harm that death is, is a function if the opportunities for satisfaction it forecloses, and no reasonable person would deny that the death of any […] human would be a greater prima facie loss, and thus a greater prima facie harm, that would be true in the case [of] a dog.”

Based on this, when lives are at stake, as in the case of animal research, I find the work to be morally justifiable.

Reply

Alafair on March 22, 2014 at 8:00 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Ok the I must conclude that you Do feel it is morally justifiable to cut open and experiment on a mentally handicapped child. Mentally challenged adult etc and I have given you every opportunity to say different. But this is clearly your view as it all has to do with the ability, or should i say the lack thereof to discern, decide and oppose.

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