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Biodiversity is one of the most valuable aspects of a natural ecosystem and a geographic location in general. Monitarily, culturally, spiritually, and in terms of human liveability and comfort. It’s the most important aspect in determining the amount of what are called ecosystem services an area gets, and of biodiversity always results in the area going to shit. Prime examples of said going to shit are whenever an invasive species we brought in starts outcompeting the native species, or every time we try to cull a native species we consider a nuisance, sometimes the former is caused by the latter!. So, even if we’re only considering ourselves, without even having to get into any kind of ethical “do animals deserve rights” or philosophical “what does it mean to be a member of the Earth’s ecosystem” debates, we still need to preserve other species, for us if nothing else.
I think we have a responsibility to live in harmony with our environment. Other species are part of that environment.
By your argument, that’s a responsibility that all species have. We all live in an environment with other species.
But all other species live the natural way, a way filled with pain, hunger and fear. Why is our responsibility different?
Are other species capable of conscious thought and action, in the way that humans are? I dont think so, they live mostly by instinct.
We don’t have a moral obligation in the way many activists unintentionally portray it as. Let me elaborate to avoid misunderstandings. The way the modernist, conventionallist homo sapien acts today is through the lens of Subject/Object. Man is a subject that observes the world around him and the objects within it. But what he forgets is that he is as well part of this world which doesn’t have insulated entities and objects but rather a collectivity of overlapping relations and reactions; in other words the observer is also within the complex and is impacted by it.
Many flaws occur in the former modernist perspective: the human perspective is disguised as being “the objective reality”, humans are metaphysically more valuable than other species and things (bold assumption imo), humans falsly presume that their relation to Nature is one way (i.e. Nature is made for the sole reason of accomodating humans).
By eradicating this view and adopt a more organic perspective, Man must acknowledge the metaphysical equality of all present matter in the Universe, where Subjects and Objects are mere illusions. If we grasp this idea, we may prevent the self-indulged abuse of Nature but not out of a “moral” or “transcendent” obligation, which broadly resembles the perverted colonialist mission to civilization.
Responsibility has to do with control or accountability. Ultimately humans are in control of their actions, so it follows that we are responsible for the outcomes of our actions. How seriously certain people treat this responsibility varies wildly and I would venture that many do not take their responsibility towards other living beings seriously. We also have responsibilities towards objects which are not living as well, and we all suffer from occasionally mistreating the objects which hold value in our lives.
All living things are in control of their actions, to the limit of their physicality and consciousness…
Isn’t it more about the responsibility that comes with our unique understanding of the consequences of our actions and ability to philosophize about ethics and morality?
You’re absolutely right to say humans do a decent job at understanding the outcomes of our actions and because of such we should be conscious to reduce harm whenever possible.
Humans have responsibility to the whole universe, but the real question is how much of that we actually can fulfill. So far we couldn’t even take responsibility to our own specie
More accurately I think, all species (and I’d even go as far as all things) are responsible to the whole Universe. We can’t be the only ones responsible when, as you said, we can’t take care of ourselves and nor are we the creators of this Universe.
Definately, from an ethical point if view.
I agree with Singer and Ryder, that speciesism is a form oft racism.
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Responsibility is a man-made concept. I think it’s good to treat beings that have the capability to suffer well.
re. ‘capability to suffer’: this seems (imo) to have been a stumbling point or crack which has occasionally been widened to facilitate destructive behaviour.
how to determine this capability to suffer? for every obvious example there will be some cruel person making a devils argument for why we can’t be 100% certain (and therefore “all bets are off”).
i think its good to give a very wide berth on all species with mobility. not foolproof (eg. plenty of plants fall under this category), but its a good start imo
Sentience is a feature of all animal species known with only two exceptions, one being sponges and another I don’t remember.
This was already measured, using even unethical methods, several years ago and received ratification in 2012, even when this was known since a long time ago.
This is to complement of what you mean.
About sexy_peach, there is a point, even if is just centric in animal welfarism (not caring about their inalienable interests and natural rights but just what allows you to maintain your consciousnesses clean while maintaining exploitation) having the first part partially right.
It is not that responsibility is a human-made concept itself, but one that applies to you, being in a certain state of knowledge and awareness, as a moral agent (moral judgment), whether this is not the case of individuals from other animal species which are moral subjects (as most humans in their infancy and in some hard situations).
Certain mollusks I think.
All those are sentient, it was near to sponges without differentiated tissues.
That is good information that it has been ratified.
To put it in ethical terms, it may be good to give a very wide berth on where the definition of sentience might be. (ignoring or including that the capability for suffering may not be identical to sentience. but agreed its a good starting point to establish a bounds.)
To put it in intellectual or scientific terms, no numeric value can be correctly assigned to a real world quantity without an associated error. The maximum radius of that error is roughly what I would ascribe to the “wide berth” mentioned above.
The limits of our perception meaning there’s a chance we may be wrong, and in this context i’d rather be wrong for the right reasons - so to speak.
There’s alot of discussion around humans being more valuable because of our elevated perception and sentience. I would put it the other way: with the increased sentience comes a duty of care, that is where our responsibilities to other species comes from imo.
I know I didn’t say anything to disagree with either of you, just continuing the enjoyable discussion.
I would like to interject here for one thing: individuals of other species have autonomous lifes, and we would be only responsible in the limits on which we have to take care of them as if they were our children or similar, which is mostly when we adopt them because they have no place in human society in an autonomous way.
sorry late reply, got sucked into work and thing. finally back.
yeah i agree with you here. all i meant re. responsibility was along the lines of, when people ask “is it ok to mistreat animals for <whatever> gain?”.
my response would be, no, not only is it wrong because its plain wrong, but also because we have responsibility.