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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you think it's necessary for vegans to have some respect for the dead?

Is that an inherent virtue of veganism? Or does it not matter how much we tarnish the memories of the dead?

I don't mean going out of our ways to do things they would have wanted, but things like avoiding doing unnecessary harm to their memories. Can we lie about them/put words in their mouths now that they can't defend themselves, since they can't feel pain anymore? Or should we respect the wishes of once conscious beings to some degree?

Interested in hearing what people think
 

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I don't think anyone has any obligations whatever to dead bodies or to sentient beings who existed in the past but died. However,

a) we do have obligations of concern and respect towards dead individuals' loved ones who can be emotionally affected
b) there are cultural issues. Presenting a dead animal body as flesh is not wrong towards the body, and not wrong towards the sentient being that no longer exists, but it is reinforcing some problematic cultural norms about non-human life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think if there's a good reason to believe that the human or non-human animal wouldn't have cared, or it's an unreasonable burden for us to follow their wishes, then we don't have any responsibility.

But what if we have a good reason to believe that they did care about it- and quite a bit- in life?

Consider this, as a hypothetical:

Let's say that Oysters fully digest their own brains, thus losing sentience. The resultant non-mobile oyster is effectively a dead body.

Is it wrong to destroy it?

Well, the oyster used to be sentient, and it deliberately planted itself there to grow in a good environment; choosing somewhere it felt was a good location. There's a strongly implied intent there for the resultant non-sentient creature to go on living. Is that something to be respected?

Or, let's say, a human man sacrifices his own life for something- maybe he went into a fire to rescue a family heirloom he cared a great deal for, and wanted to pass it on to his child- and he died of smoke inhalation and burns; but not before handing the heirloom to you and telling you what to do.

The child has no idea the heirloom exists, and will not miss it. You could sell it for a few bucks; is there any reason not to, now that this guy is dead?

Going even further, is there any inherent value to life or intent at all? Or is it all just about suffering?

If we kill somebody painlessly, without the person expecting it, and with no relatives to mourn said victim- is there anything wrong with that? The idea of not respecting intent would seem to imply that there isn't.

Just some food for thought.
 

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Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

Let's say that Oysters fully digest their own brains, thus losing sentience. The resultant non-mobile oyster is effectively a dead body.

Is it wrong to destroy it?

Well, the oyster used to be sentient, and it deliberately planted itself there to grow in a good environment; choosing somewhere it felt was a good location. There's a definite intent there for the resultant non-sentient creature to go on living. Is that something to be respected?

Or, let's say, a human man sacrifices his own life for something- maybe he went into a fire to rescue a family heirloom he cared a great deal for, and wanted to pass it on to his child- and he died of smoke inhalation; but not before handing the heirloom to you and telling you what to do.

The child has no idea the heirloom exists, and will not miss it. You could sell it for a few bucks; is there any reason not to, now that this guy is dead?
In both those cases, my answer, following what I said in my previous post, would be that there is no obligation towards the wishes, intent or past interests of those beings who are now dead. And that there can only be indirect moral considerations, such as a desire to cultivate some general virtue of respectfulness in your behavior, or a desire not to participate in certain cultural practices (such as the practice of treating animal bodies as meat).

Quote:
Going even further, is there any inherent value to life or intent at all? Or is it all just about suffering?

If we kill somebody painlessly, without the person expecting it, and with no relatives to mourn said victim- is there anything wrong with that? The idea of not respecting intent would seem to imply that there isn't.
Yes, I do think the subjective world of experience existing at the present moment -- which gets destroyed in death -- has inherent value. I also think killing someone, whether they realize it or not and whether someone else mourns it or not, is wrong because it deprives a sentient being of its possibilities. I don't see this relating to the notion of intent. On the contrary, I would say making the wrongness of killing depend on the intent of the organism to do something in the future would be problematic.
 

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I think its necessary for any decent human being to have respect for the dead...why limit it to vegans...respect is not a vegan only quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

I think its necessary for any decent human being to have respect for the dead...why limit it to vegans...respect is not a vegan only quality.
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Yes, I do think the subjective world of experience existing at the present moment -- which gets destroyed in death -- has inherent value.
You mean based on pleasure being experienced? Or something else?

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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I also think killing someone, whether they realize it or not and whether someone else mourns it or not, is wrong because it deprives a sentient being of its possibilities.
Possibilities of having positive experiences in the future?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

You mean based on pleasure being experienced? Or something else?
Not just experiences of pleasure. Simply the ability to experience the world -- to experience sights and/or sounds and/or smells, to open up a subjective world as such -- has inherent value to me. However, if the being in question is undergoing intense suffering and there's no way to relieve it and it's going to continue, then I of course believe in euthanasia. So I guess if I need to put these two together, I could say that an opening up of a subjective world which is largely neutral or positive (over time) has an inherent value to me.

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Possibilities of having positive experiences in the future?
Not just positive ones, at least if by 'positive' we mean something like 'pleasant'. I think my own future life, for example, has value not just because of feelings of pleasure, but also because of neutral sense perceptions and even because of painful experiences which still e.g. allow me to learn about myself or the world. Although I would call the latter 'positive' I guess -- I would call some of my own suffering a positive thing.

In short, sentience and subjectivity have inherent moral value to me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

Is that an inherent virtue of veganism?
No, I don't think so.

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I don't mean going out of our ways to do things they would have wanted, but things like avoiding doing unnecessary harm to their memories. Can we lie about them/put words in their mouths now that they can't defend themselves, since they can't feel pain anymore? Or should we respect the wishes of once conscious beings to some degree?
I value honestly, so I wouldn't do this or approve of it. It wouldn't be for the sake of the dead, it would be for the sake of being honest toward those who are alive.

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Or, let's say, a human man sacrifices his own life for something- maybe he went into a fire to rescue a family heirloom he cared a great deal for, and wanted to pass it on to his child- and he died of smoke inhalation and burns; but not before handing the heirloom to you and telling you what to do.

The child has no idea the heirloom exists, and will not miss it. You could sell it for a few bucks; is there any reason not to, now that this guy is dead?
That is a really interesting question. My gut overwhelming says says giving it to the child would be right and selling it would be wrong, but I find it difficult to come up with arguments.
 

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If I respected and loved the person, I will love and respect their memory.

If they were a total waste of oxygen and resources like some people are, I have no problem saying so after they've died, and while they are alive.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

I don't think anyone has any obligations whatever to dead bodies or to sentient beings who existed in the past but died. However,

a) we do have obligations of concern and respect towards dead individuals' loved ones who can be emotionally affected
b) there are cultural issues. Presenting a dead animal body as flesh is not wrong towards the body, and not wrong towards the sentient being that no longer exists, but it is reinforcing some problematic cultural norms about non-human life.
This is my take on the topic, especially a). I don't have a problem with people expressing dislike for people who have died, unless that person's loved ones witness it and so are hurt by it.

But I do think it's really weird that even veg*ns say they would rather see an animal product eaten that thrown away, because if it's thrown away the animal died for nothing. As if it's some kind of accomplishment for the animal to have his or her corpse eaten.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

Or, let's say, a human man sacrifices his own life for something- maybe he went into a fire to rescue a family heirloom he cared a great deal for, and wanted to pass it on to his child- and he died of smoke inhalation and burns; but not before handing the heirloom to you and telling you what to do.

The child has no idea the heirloom exists, and will not miss it. You could sell it for a few bucks; is there any reason not to, now that this guy is dead?

Going even further, is there any inherent value to life or intent at all? Or is it all just about suffering?

If we kill somebody painlessly, without the person expecting it, and with no relatives to mourn said victim- is there anything wrong with that? The idea of not respecting intent would seem to imply that there isn't.

Just some food for thought.
The pleasure that heirloom will bring to the child or the alleviation of some grief etc would be greater than the somewhat superficial pleasure your few bucks would bring so I'd say it's pretty wrong to choose the latter option and steal it. Also it's not your property anyway so it's pretty much asking whether it would be wrong to steal something from someone even if it's value to that person has not been recognised yet. It IS still their property.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepurusg View Post

Or, let's say, a human man sacrifices his own life for something- maybe he went into a fire to rescue a family heirloom he cared a great deal for, and wanted to pass it on to his child- and he died of smoke inhalation and burns; but not before handing the heirloom to you and telling you what to do.

The child has no idea the heirloom exists, and will not miss it. You could sell it for a few bucks; is there any reason not to, now that this guy is dead?
I don't think the fact that the guy "sacrificed" his life or that it is an heirloom should have anything to do with it. If he states that his property should pass on to the child, most cultural standards and laws would require that it convey in that manner, all other things being equal.
 

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let's learn to respect those who live first, beginning with all the people around us, and including those we don't like, those who have hurt us, and those wich ass we would kick with great pleasure,

then we will speak about the deads ^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

was that 'Thanks' sarcastic or not..sorry I cant tell whether my answer helped or not.
Oh no, not at all sarcastic.

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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Not just experiences of pleasure. Simply the ability to experience the world -- to experience sights and/or sounds and/or smells, to open up a subjective world as such -- has inherent value to me. However, if the being in question is undergoing intense suffering and there's no way to relieve it and it's going to continue, then I of course believe in euthanasia. So I guess if I need to put these two together, I could say that an opening up of a subjective world which is largely neutral or positive (over time) has an inherent value to me.
So then would it be morally better for cows and other farmed animals to exist as meat sources, than to not exist at all? Provided, of course, that they are undergoing anything short of intense suffering.

If killing is only wrong because it cuts short that experience relative to what is possible, then even a small amount of experience would be less wrong than preventing the life entirely, wouldn't it?

(I not saying I necessarily agree with this, I just see it as a potential flaw in your argument)

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Originally Posted by luvourmother View Post

how is this a vegan topic?
Veganism is a moral issue; one of morality without speciesism. Speciesism is a trivial and obvious subject- this is one of the only meaningful arguments; a question of value.

If you are vegetarian, or derive your ethics from religion rather than philosophy, you might not see the relevance. Of course, you don't have to participate


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Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

That is a really interesting question. My gut overwhelming says says giving it to the child would be right and selling it would be wrong, but I find it difficult to come up with arguments.
Maybe it's because the intentions or wishes of a conscious being have some inherent value, regardless of whether they're still conscious at the time?

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Originally Posted by River View Post

If they were a total waste of oxygen and resources like some people are, I have no problem saying so after they've died, and while they are alive.
I meant it more along the lines of them not being able to defend themselves- as in speaking for those without voices. If there's any residual ethical quality to the wishes of those who have passed, beyond simple utilitarian respect for their survivors.

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Originally Posted by Earthling View Post

But I do think it's really weird that even veg*ns say they would rather see an animal product eaten that thrown away, because if it's thrown away the animal died for nothing. As if it's some kind of accomplishment for the animal to have his or her corpse eaten.
I think that comes down mostly to displacement and waste. If it's eaten by an omnivore, it will displace other cruel food. If eaten by a freegan, it would displace other food in general, and potentially reduce waste (more of an environmental issue).

The point you made may come from residual justification- as if eating the animal partially justifies the act. That's interesting. In avoiding adding "insult to injury" there seems to be the idea that it would actually entail eating the animal, as though eating is not insulting.

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Originally Posted by OutofLimits View Post

The pleasure that heirloom will bring to the child or the alleviation of some grief etc would be greater than the somewhat superficial pleasure your few bucks would bring so I'd say it's pretty wrong to choose the latter option and steal it.
1. What if that's not the case? What if it's a rich brat, and he won't really respect the sentimental value?

2. If that was true, that would seem to imply that it's immoral to go to a movie, or do anything to entertain yourself, when you could send that money to a charity and resolve more suffering than you yourself would gain in the opposite (pleasure) from the entertainment.

That seems to argue that anything short of total selflessness is immoral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OutofLimits View Post

Also it's not your property anyway so it's pretty much asking whether it would be wrong to steal something from someone even if it's value to that person has not been recognised yet. It IS still their property.
Is it, though? What is property? And from where does the moral impetus there come?

This is a moral issue, not a legal one. You'd have to buttress that by explaining what the inherent moral value of property is.

Did he work hard to earn it, and so has a moral right to it by that virtue? No.
Is he attached to it, in such a way that taking it would emotionally harm him? No.

Why is it wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperhanger View Post

I don't think the fact that the guy "sacrificed" his life or that it is an heirloom should have anything to do with it. If he states that his property should pass on to the child, most cultural standards and laws would require that it convey in that manner, all other things being equal.
This is a moral issue, not a cultural/legal one.

Unless you're saying that cultural and legal standards define morality? In which case I would wonder why you are vegetarian.

Why is it wrong?
 
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