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Why is the extension or pleasure of human life a valid reason for harming dogs under one circumstance, "better" than the other?

It's not better. Getting pleasure from harming animals is consistently a symptom of psychological depravity. It is safe to say that Michael Vick is a depraved thug no moral person should feel sympathy for.

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It's not better. Getting pleasure from harming animals is consistently a symptom of psychological depravity. It is safe to say that Michael Vick is a depraved thug no moral person should feel sympathy for.

Perhaps he is depraved, but I don't necessarily see it as such. Some people like to watch snakes eat rats, but I don't think that this makes them depraved, nor do I think that people wanting to watch dogs fight each other makes them obviously depraved. Personally, I tend to begin my psychoanalysis at the point where people harm other humans.

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It's not better. Getting pleasure from harming animals is consistently a symptom of psychological depravity. It is safe to say that Michael Vick is a depraved thug no moral person should feel sympathy for.

Another question that probably should be raised: Can Michael Vick reform himself? Can he change? Can he cease being psychologically depraved? If he can, what does this mean to those of us who would choose to shun him for his moral crime? Does his change of perception, character and behavior demand a similar change of perception and behavior from us towards him?

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Another question that probably should be raised: Can Michael Vick reform himself? Can he change? Can he cease being psychologically depraved? If he can, what does this mean to those of us who would choose to shun him for his moral crime? Does his change of perception, character and behavior demand a similar change of perception and behavior from us towards him?

How do "to those of us who would choose to shun him" for his alleged "moral crime" reconcile the inherent moral contradiction in doing so? How does what Michael Vick differ from Purdue Chicken? I know of one way, but no one is outright stating that difference, but are offering what are obvious rationalizations and otherwise contradicting premises. Can someone please step up the plate and do a decent job of explaining their reasoning on this matter.

* What kind of "change" are you looking for that your local cattle slaughter house owner shouldn't make?

* Why should Vick "change?" as it relates to his conviction? I am seeking a moral argument, not a legal one here. We all know--some better than others--that there exist(s) laws which are immoral, and wrong, so let's not go there.

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Perhaps he is depraved, but I don't necessarily see it as such. Some people like to watch snakes eat rats, but I don't think that this makes them depraved, nor do I think that people wanting to watch dogs fight each other makes them obviously depraved. Personally, I tend to begin my psychoanalysis at the point where people harm other humans.

I would say someone who enjoys watching a snake eating a rat is getting a kind of sadist's pleasure. It's a disturbing act.

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I would say someone who enjoys watching a snake eating a rat is getting a kind of sadist's pleasure. It's a disturbing act.

I don't know about that. I can well see a scientist studying it to figure out how the process works. A sadist would be someone who is cruel because he enjoys inflicting and watching suffering and pain.

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How do "to those of us who would choose to shun him" for his alleged "moral crime" reconcile the inherent moral contradiction in doing so? How does what Michael Vick differ from Purdue Chicken?

No one here alleged a crime.

His immoral actions were a consequence of his psychological depravity. The pleasure he got from those actions are a clear indication of deep psychological problems, and a twisted, evil morality (for persevering in his depravity, until caught, instead of trying to right the faults within himself and seeking help he could obviously easily afford-unless you care to claim that his "culture" made him think fighting, hanging and electrocuting dogs for fun is perfectly normal and fine for any man).

Since Purdue Chicken staff haven't been shown to experience any pleasure while processing or slaughtering animals, no conclusions can be drawn about their psychology, or about their morality. They have nothing in common with Vick.

It amazes me that anyone needs the difference explained: the thought of someone torturing dogs, and getting pleasure out of it, makes the skin crawl on anyone with a good sense of life, they don't need to study philosophy for it.

Perhaps he is depraved, but I don't necessarily see it as such. Some people like to watch snakes eat rats, but I don't think that this makes them depraved, nor do I think that people wanting to watch dogs fight each other makes them obviously depraved. Personally, I tend to begin my psychoanalysis at the point where people harm other humans.

Psychologists prefer to start psycho-analysis long before someone harms other humans, because a person's psychology guides all their day to day actions, not just the ones where they interact with other humans, and might hurt them.

It strikes me as odd that you would have a separate, personal preference regarding that science. Will an argument concerning atoms impress you, or do you draw the line at molecules, as far as chemistry goes?

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It amazes me that anyone needs the difference explained: the thought of someone torturing dogs, and getting pleasure out of it, makes the skin crawl on anyone with a good sense of life, they don't need to study philosophy for it.

While I agree that what Vick did was wrong, these things are not obvious. Some things are self-evident, but I don't think any moral questions are.

Your skin can "crawl" for the wrong reasons. You need to check your emotions against reason.

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The basic difference between Vick's dogfighting ring and other animal killing businesses is the means and the intended outcome.

Animals for meat, leather and fur are (generally) killed instantly.

Vicks dogs were killed often slowly and tortuously.

Animals killed in other industries are for a specific need- food, clothing, charcoal filter (for vodka-yey vodka!)

Dogs killed for dogfighting arguably serve a purpose- entertainment... but the morality of this entertainment and the nature of the people who desire it is easily called into question.

Cruelty to animals could objectively be considered immoral because it produces nothing positive but does produce things that are negative (vicious dogs are a pretty big negative).

But I'm also content to just call it my own personal distaste. I enjoy animals for companionship, security (living in a sketchy neighborhood a German Shepard really is your best friend), dinner and footware.

In having animals shred each other to pieces for entertainment I see nothing but waste and waste is another thing I see as immoral.

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I don't know about that. I can well see a scientist studying it to figure out how the process works. A sadist would be someone who is cruel because he enjoys inflicting and watching suffering and pain.

Context of course is king. The scientist isn't getting enjoyment from the rat being in pain though.

Are you saying that people who enjoy watching nature documentaries are sadistic?

If you're getting a woody or a sick sense of satisfaction as the lion bites the zebra's throat out, then yes.

Edited by TheEgoist
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I'm not sure what you're getting at...?
It is the state's place to punish specific immorality. Your statement that it is not the state's place to punish immorality suggests that you don't understand the relationship between rights and morality. Or you were careless in your wording -- either way, it needed to be corrected.
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It is the state's place to punish specific immorality. Your statement that it is not the state's place to punish immorality suggests that you don't understand the relationship between rights and morality. Or you were careless in your wording -- either way, it needed to be corrected.

Immorality is not always illegal, and what is illegal is not always immoral.

That some specific immorality infringes upon rights to the extent it is punishable by law is a different matter. Immorality is incidental to criminality

The state's place in this is to punish the illegality, not the immorality although the two can exist within the same action the fact the action is criminal is being punished, not the fact that it is immoral.

I was neither careless nor incorrect in my wording and stand by my statement. Gomen nasai.

I was however, careless in my typing...hence edited.

Edited by QuoVadis
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Do you mean, people who enjoy awesome displays of force, or people who enjoy watching other humans' lives and property destroyed?

EXACTLY! Apply the same principle to dog fighting, and you have your answer. I am not saying that everyone should enjoy or appreciate the "art" of dog-fighting; but, I do say that there is no way to totally understand the underlying motives of people that do, and it is outright wrong to pretend that we have such psychological expertise.

Ostracise or choose not to associate with such people if you want; but, the condemnation and slander is a bit much, no matter how you feel about the canine species. In principle, there is no difference between Colonel Sanders and Michael Vick. In this regard the PETA people are correct.

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EXACTLY! Apply the same principle to dog fighting, and you have your answer. I am not saying that everyone should enjoy or appreciate the "art" of dog-fighting; but, I do say that there is no way to totally understand the underlying motives of people that do, and it is outright wrong to pretend that we have such psychological expertise.
The issue, at least for me, is not whether he engaged in promoting dog combat, but whether drowning, hanging and electrocuting dogs is moral behavior. So what principle should I be extracting from this that exhonerates Vick?
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No one here alleged a crime.

If he can, what does this mean to those of us who would choose to shun him for his moral crime? Does his change of perception, character and behavior demand a similar change of perception and behavior from us towards him?
I don't make the kind of mistakes and misquotes that plague your posts Jake.

His immoral actions were a consequence of his psychological depravity. The pleasure he got from those actions are a clear indication of deep psychological problems, and a twisted, evil morality (for persevering in his depravity, until caught, instead of trying to right the faults within himself and seeking help he could obviously easily afford-unless you care to claim that his "culture" made him think fighting, hanging and electrocuting dogs for fun is perfectly normal and fine for any man).

Are you an objectivist or someone on this forum intent on discrediting Ayn Rand through subversion? In case you would consider yourself to be an objectivist, I will give you yet another Ayn Rand quote in the hopes that your soul may be saved:

"Just as reasoning, to an irrational person, becomes rationalizing, and moral judgment becomes moralizing, so psychological theories become psychologizing. The common denominator is the corruption of a cognitive process to serve an ulterior motive."

I "wonder" what your ulterior motive is. Just kidding, I'm pretty sure; so, there is no need for a confession here. :huh:

Since Purdue Chicken staff haven't been shown to experience any pleasure while processing or slaughtering animals, no conclusions can be drawn about their psychology, or about their morality. They have nothing in common with Vick.

On one hand, he psychologizes about the mental state of Vick, then, on the other hand he psychologizes about what the employees of Purdue are thinking. Man, Jake is quite the mind reader isn't he? How much money do you make with your awesome talent Jake? Now that that has been dealt with yet again, let's list the things that they have in common for anyone else as remedial as you seem to be:

1.)Both Vick (hereafter referred to as V) and Purdue (hereafter referred to as P) profit(ed) by the death of animals.

2.)Both V and P sell the product of animal cruelty. One does so in the form of entertainment, one does so in the form of food. However, both instances are for man's benefit, and are forms of the exploitation of nature; things that objectivists are supposed to uphold.

3.)There exists substitutes for animal food, as there exists substitutes for animal entertainment.

These are the things that Vick and Purdue have in common that I was referring to (in case you were too slow to "get it"). Aside from your bootleg attempts at psychoanalysis, what else differentiates them within this context?

As always: You silly!

It amazes me that anyone needs the difference explained: the thought of someone torturing dogs, and getting pleasure out of it, makes the skin crawl on anyone with a good sense of life, they don't need to study philosophy for it.

Perhaps a philosophy class or two would do you some good--if you ever were to try one. Your ability to address those things relevant vs. the irrelevant; the subjective vs. the objective; what's known vs. what's believed to be, are all lacking tremendously if we were to simply read any number of your posts on this board. You seriously lack even the most elementary philosophic understanding, and should--seriously--refrain from using the word.

Psychologists prefer to start psycho-analysis long before someone harms other humans, because a person's psychology guides all their day to day actions, not just the ones where they interact with other humans, and might hurt them.

It strikes me as odd that you would have a separate, personal preference regarding that science. Will an argument concerning atoms impress you, or do you draw the line at molecules, as far as chemistry goes?

No I don't draw the line a molecules dood, nor do I consider the words of "scientists" about global warming 100% valid or relevant to man, and his relationship to the earth. Hopefully you can follow that one... duh.

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The issue, at least for me, is not whether he engaged in promoting dog combat, but whether drowning, hanging and electrocuting dogs is moral behavior. So what principle should I be extracting from this that exhonerates Vick?

The fact that "Purdue" chicken drowns and electrocutes thousands and thousands of chickens every day to earn his money. Face it David, the principle is the same, and the fact that Vick has been jailed, and forced to pay animal shelters his income is a moral tragedy.

I like dogs too, and although I can't say that I have never watched dogs "bang," I did not like it, nor did I go to the fights again. I have eaten chicken, beef, pork, and fish, although I have since become a vegan. I have a mink coat, and use drugs that were tested on animals still to this day. All of these things however, are irrelevant to the issue of property rights; unless, we are talking about my property. What Michael Vick does/did to his property is his business, and as long as there is such hypocrisy in how we apply and uphold property rights and individual rights, the impetus of those who slice away at our freedoms will continue to go unhampered. You can't have your freedom, and "shrug away" Michael Vick's too!

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About psychologizing:

Hopefully once you guys read some Ayn, you will check yourselves, and then, I won't have to.

"Armed with a smattering, not of knowledge, but of undigested slogans, they rush, unsolicited, to diagnose the problems of their friends and acquaintances. Pretentiousness and presumptuousness are the psychologizer’s invariable characteristics: he not merely invades the privacy of his victims’ minds, he claims to understand their minds better than they do, to know more than they do about their own motives. With reckless irresponsibility, which an old-fashioned mystic oracle would hesitate to match, he ascribes to his victims any motivation that suits his purpose, ignoring their denials. Since he is dealing with the great “unknowable”—which used to be life after death or extrasensory perception, but is now man’s subconscious—all rules of evidence, logic and proof are suspended, and anything goes (which is what attracts him to his racket)."

“The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971,

"A man’s moral character must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions—not on the basis of inferences (usually, spurious) about his subconscious.

A man is not to be condemned or excused on the grounds of the state of his subconscious.

While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation."

“The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971,

"Just as reasoning, to an irrational person, becomes rationalizing, and moral judgment becomes moralizing, so psychological theories become psychologizing. The common denominator is the corruption of a cognitive process to serve an ulterior motive."

“The Psychology of ‘Psychologizing,’” The Objectivist, March 1971

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The fact that "Purdue" chicken drowns and electrocutes thousands and thousands of chickens every day to earn his money.
There is nothing comparable in the slaughtering of chickens for food and the deliberately sadistic execution of inconvenient dogs. The lesson you're not learning from the Michael Vick case is that there is ample evidence to show that he is a sadist, which is sufficient basis for rendering moral judgment.
Face it David, the principle is the same, and the fact that Vick has been jailed, and forced to pay animal shelters his income is a moral tragedy.
That is old news and the topic under discussion, as far as I'm concerned. You won't find anyone here supporting the laws under which he was prosecuted. The question is whether Vick is morally sick. Asked and answered.
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