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  #16  
Old Sep 29, '12, 10:56 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by Nate13 View Post
Did you read the article? We as humans have the ability to reason and thus are expected to exercise our stewardship of animals in a way that conforms to reason. When we fail to do so (in this case torturing a puppy) we do harm to ourselves because we fail to live up to our own human dignity.
Why does torturing a puppy, from a Catholic's pov, not conform to reason, and what's the harm to the torturer?
  #17  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:02 pm
Dale_M Dale_M is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by spencelo View Post
What's wrong with the following argument?
1. A human is infinitely more valuable than an animal. (premise assumed for reductio purposes)
2. Therefore, the interests of a human are infinitely more weighty than the interests of an animal. (from 1)
3. If a human desired to torture a puppy for fun, then the human's interest in torturing the puppy is infinitely more weighty than the latter's interest in not being tortured. (from 2).
4. Therefore, a human's interest in torturing a puppy for fun outweighs the latter's interest in not being tortured. (from 3)
5. Therefore, all things being equal, a human does not act wrongly in torturing a puppy for fun. [absurd conclusion]
From a Catholic perspective:

1. The life of a human is infinitely more valuable than the life an animal.

2. Therefore, the welfare of a human is more valuable than the welfare of an animal. (NB: I removed the word "infinitely" because unlike life or death, welfare has many shades of gradation.

3. A human has no need for torturing a puppy, for fun or for other reasons. The Catholic Church teaches that animal suffering should be minimized. There is no compelling reason for torturing any animal, even if a particular human desires to do so for kicks.

4, No human has a right to torture others, whether human or animals.

5, As you stated, the conclusion is absurd. The reason it is absurd is because the original premise is flawed. The deductions fail as a consequence.
  #18  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:04 pm
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triumphguy triumphguy is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by spencelo View Post
What's wrong with the following argument?
1. A human is infinitely more valuable than an animal. (premise assumed for reductio purposes)
2. Therefore, the interests of a human are infinitely more weighty than the interests of an animal. (from 1)
3. If a human desired to torture a puppy for fun, then the human's interest in torturing the puppy is infinitely more weighty than the latter's interest in not being tortured. (from 2).
4. Therefore, a human's interest in torturing a puppy for fun outweighs the latter's interest in not being tortured. (from 3)
5. Therefore, all things being equal, a human does not act wrongly in torturing a puppy for fun. [absurd conclusion]
And see here: http://arzone.ning.com/video/the-sup...cumentary-film
A human's worth stems from his being made in the image and likeness of God. Torturing a puppy is not consistent with a person's inherent dignity, therefore it is disordered.

BTW have you figured out if you are pro-abortion yet?
  #19  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:06 pm
Nate13 Nate13 is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by spencelo View Post
Why does torturing a puppy, from a Catholic's pov, not conform to reason, and what's the harm to the torturer?
Hmm I think the best way to answer this is to ask you questions and work our way through it. The article does a decent job of answering this though. Can you explain how you believe it could be reasonable for a human to torture a puppy for the purpose of pleasure alone?
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  #20  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:06 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by Dale_M View Post
From a Catholic perspective:

1. The life of a human is infinitely more valuable than an animal.

2. Therefore, the welfare of a human is more valuable than the welfare of an animal. (NB: I removed the word "infinitely" because unlike life or death, welfare has many shades of gradation.
I don't understand your distinction between human life and human welfare. What is the value of human life apart from human welfare?
  #21  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:07 pm
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triumphguy triumphguy is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by spencelo View Post
Why does torturing a puppy, from a Catholic's pov, not conform to reason, and what's the harm to the torturer?
Read the Catholic catechism http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm. You may learn a few things about being fully human.
  #22  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:07 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by triumphguy View Post
A human's worth stems from his being made in the image and likeness of God. Torturing a puppy is not consistent with a person's inherent dignity, therefore it is disordered.
Why's that inconsistent with a person's inherent dignity?
  #23  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:08 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Read the Catholic catechism http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm. You may learn a few things about being fully human.
Article mentions nothing about animals.
  #24  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:10 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by Nate13 View Post
Hmm I think the best way to answer this is to ask you questions and work our way through it. The article does a decent job of answering this though. Can you explain how you believe it could be reasonable for a human to torture a puppy for the purpose of pleasure alone?
I want to understand why it's wrong from a Catholic's perspective, and whether that's consistent with the view that human life is infinitely more valuable.
  #25  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:11 pm
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LilyM LilyM is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Why does torturing a puppy, from a Catholic's pov, not conform to reason, and what's the harm to the torturer?
It is against human reason (not just from a Catholic but from many other points of view) to cause needless harm or destruction to any created thing. Psychologists of all religious and irreligious stripes look carefully at how their patients treat animals, as such is often quite closely related to how they treat humans. One quite strong potential indicator of psychopathy is animal cruelty. An indicator of various other mental illnesses is an undue regard for animals (eg spending so much money on stuff for your pet that you have not enough to afford the necessities of your own life).

The harm to the torturer is the same as the harm done by torturing humans - desensitisation to suffering in animals makes one less sensitive to human suffering too.
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  #26  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:11 pm
Nate13 Nate13 is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Article mentions nothing about animals.
You asked what about human dignity makes treating animals that way wrong. You have to learn about human dignity to understand that....
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  #27  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:13 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by LilyM View Post
It is against human reason (not just from a Catholic but from many other points of view) to cause needless harm or destruction to any created thing. Psychologists of all religious and irreligious stripes look carefully at how their patients treat animals, as such is often quite closely related to how they treat humans. One quite strong potential indicator of psychopathy is animal cruelty. An indicator of various other mental illnesses is an undue regard for animals (eg spending so much money on stuff for your pet that you have not enough to afford the necessities of your own life).

The harm to the torturer is the same as the harm done by torturing humans - desensitisation to suffering in animals makes one less sensitive to human suffering too.
All this would show is that torturing a dog is wrong only because doing so has bad psychological effects. Suppose it doesn't--suppose that the torturer is a most gentle soul when it comes to his interactions with fellow humans.
  #28  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:14 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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You asked what about human dignity makes treating animals that way wrong. You have to learn about human dignity to understand that....
The article only discusses human dignity in the context of human interaction.
  #29  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:14 pm
Nate13 Nate13 is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by spencelo View Post
I want to understand why it's wrong from a Catholic's perspective, and whether that's consistent with the view that human life is infinitely more valuable.
We have the ability to reason and do harm to our dignity when we don't exercise it. We are created in God's image and likeness and the ability to reason is apart of that. To torture a puppy for fun, is to not act human. How not acting human = goes against human life being infinitely valuable should be self-evident....
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  #30  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:15 pm
spencelo spencelo is offline
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Default Re: Reductio argument: humans not infinitely valuable

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Originally Posted by Nate13 View Post
We have the ability to reason and do harm to our dignity when we don't exercise it. We are created in God's image and likeness and the ability to reason is apart of that. To torture a puppy for fun, is to not act human. How not acting human = goes against human life being infinitely valuable should be self-evident....
Okay, so how does torturing a puppy for fun harm human dignity?
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