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Objectivist view on Animal Abuse Laws

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The problem is that it wasn't rational.

You proposed imprisoning/institutionalising people for things they *might* do.

That there is a correlation between torture of animals and future violence towards people there is no disagreement.

But a just society does not imprison people based on things they are statistically likely to do.

So, in your view we cannot restrict a person who is driving 180 km/h in 60 km/h zone on the wrong side of the road against traffic and ignores traffic lights? We cannot stop a person who drives a heavy train under the influence of alcohol or drugs? We cannot isolate the mentally ill who never hurt a person but believes that only massive killing will bring a redemption and ready to act on his beliefs?

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What is Objectivist view on animal abuse and how those who have been found abusing animals (be it dogs, horses, whatever) should be handled? I can see an issue with animals having rights, but is there

Between the OP and your post, there are three separate issues raised: 1. animal cruelty laws 2. the morality of animal cruelty 3. what you call "the sacrifice of animals" None of them are f

They are many properties in animals which we can value and even admire. Ayn Rand herself loved cats. She also mentioned that even animal life deserves some respect as a value-orientated process. It i

I think that is a fundemental problem in the argument here.

You keep wanting to find justifications for use of force.

If one is an Objectivist one believes in the power of the free market.

That means that since the majority of people who have animals have them because they like them, enjoy them and at times find them useful the majority of people who purchase animals and animal related products would be interested in using breeders, stores and shelters that have these clauses.

The majority of landlords would find it in their interest to have a clause in their leases that abuse of animals on premises would result in eviction.

A majority of employers would find it in their interest to fire someone who kills animals for pleasure in their spare time.

A majority of storeowners and barkeeps would not want to allow such people to patronise their businesses.

There are so many free market ways to deal with this, will they end the abuse of animals altogether? Of course not! The thought is silly!

NOTHING will end it altogether.

But you cannot justify the violation of a person's rights based on theri treatment of something that doesn't possess rights.

Members of society would justly shun these people and as people get used to a free market solution and start putting these clauses in contracts legal action could be taken on basis of breach of contract.

This is the just and rational way to deal with it.

That all could be true in regard to majority. Majority is sane and sound even in the semi-free economy. However the psychopaths and sadists are minority. What you propose to do about them? Objectivism doesn't exclude the use of retaliatory force and in certain circumstances, when we deal with the clear and present danger, such a force could and should be used preemptively. Who would hesitate to arrest a drunkard, running amok with the knife in his hand, even if he never hurt anybody yet?

Edited by Leonid
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That all could be true in regard to majority. Majority is sane and sound even in the semi-free economy. However the psychopaths and sadists are minority. What you propose to do about them? Objectivism doesn't exclude the use of retaliatory force and in certain circumstances, when we deal with the clear and present danger, such a force could and should be used preemptively. Nobody would hesitate to arrest a drunkard, running amok with the knife in his hand, even if he never hurt anybody yet.

If he was running drunkedly, in his own yard, with a knife, not threatening anyone he should not be arrested.

If he is running drunkenly through a crowd, in a public space or a rpivate space not his own, waving a sharpened katana he is creating a clear present immediate danger to those around him. Those people have rights. Not only can he be arrested but if someone was running towards him they would be justified in killing him in self defense.

At these point I can only conjecture that you are choosing to be obtuse or you are attempting reductio ad absurdum.

Edited by SapereAude
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We cannot isolate the mentally ill who never hurt a person but believes that only massive killing will bring a redemption and ready to act on his beliefs?

You cannot isolate him for *believing* it.

The legal justification can and is made based on intention and ability to act and the burden of proof is on the party suggesting commitment to prove that the danger is immenint.

Standards for burden of proof to implement legal involuntary commitment were raised by US Supreme Court rulings in 1975 and 1979.

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You cannot isolate him for *believing* it.

The legal justification can and is made based on intention and ability to act and the burden of proof is on the party suggesting commitment to prove that the danger is immenint.

Standards for burden of proof to implement legal involuntary commitment were raised by US Supreme Court rulings in 1975 and 1979.

This is not a legal process. We are discussing a mentally ill person. Such a decision is made by the board of qualified psychiatrists. The same applies to psychopaths. First time offenders should undergo a mandatory psychotherapy.

"At these point I can only conjecture that you are choosing to be obtuse or you are attempting reductio ad absurdum."

No, just demonstrate that there is a place for the use of preemptive retaliatory force. Seems like you agree. You also agree that people who are cruel to animals represent a potential danger to humans. Why then they cannot be restricted or at least corrected by using such a force?

Edited by Leonid
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This is not a legal process. We are discussing a mentally ill person. Such a decision is made by the board of qualified psychiatrists. The same applies to psychopaths. First time offenders should undergo a mandatory psychotherapy.

That is not the case in the US.

It is a legal process here. And rightly an arduous one.

I understand your laws are different (my wife worked under mental illness regs similar to those of SA when we lived and worked abroad and was appalled by how easy it was to take away a person's freedom under then mental health regulations there) but overall the US is still a more rights respecting nation than SA.

Why can't someone who poses "a potential danger" to others be restricted or punished?

Because you cannot punish someone for something they have not done!

There is a difference between a potential danger and an immenint danger and that distinction is very important.

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That is not the case in the US.

It is a legal process here. And rightly an arduous one.

I understand your laws are different (my wife worked under mental illness regs similar to those of SA when we lived and worked abroad and was appalled by how easy it was to take away a person's freedom under then mental health regulations there) but overall the US is still a more rights respecting nation than SA.

Why can't someone who poses "a potential danger" to others be restricted or punished?

Because you cannot punish someone for something they have not done!

There is a difference between a potential danger and an immenint danger and that distinction is very important.

So drunk drivers are not restricted in US? They present only potential, not imminent danger. And how do you measure the difference? How rights apply to the mentally ill, that is- a person who is not responsible for his actions? Besides, we don't discuss a punishment here but prevention. If you incarcerate a pyromaniac with the proven record, you don't punish him but prevent a potential danger which he represents.

Edited by Leonid
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If you incarcerate a pyromaniac with the proven record, you don't punish him but prevent a potential danger which he represents.

If he has a "proven record" he has actually committed the crime of arson or something of the sort- that would be what a "proven record" would be. Your argument makes no sense. You can't have a "proven record" without having done something and having it be illegal, therefore a matter of record.

If someone commits an activity that often correlates to people who commit arson you cannot punish him in advance based on that correlation.

So drunk drivers are not restricted in US? They present only potential, not imminent danger

I have never claimed that the drunk driving laws in the US are just- random tests and checkpoints are absolutely a rights violation.

If one is driving completely intoxicated, driving 120 miles per hour in a business district while swerving wildly through oncoming traffic he is not a potential danger, he is an imminent danger.

This is also beside the point because we aren't discussing what exists as though it were just- we are discussing what is just.

Edited by SapereAude
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Lets put it this way:

Several psychiatric and criminal studies show that just over 30% of children who were sexually abused end up being sexual abusers themselves later in life.

Studies vary from 1/4 to 1/3 of children who are abused in some way turning the abuse on animals.

By your logic, because of that correlation we would preemptively jail children who are found to have been abused.

Or do you say no?

Then, at what percentage does your preemptive jailing begin?

When it hits 40%, 60%?

When?

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Regarding your question here:

"They present only potential, not imminent danger. And how do you measure the difference?"

There is definite objective criteria used to place an involuntary mental health hold.

Each state's guidlelines are available online.

They all very clearly state the difference, legally, between "potential" and "imminent".

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And what to do with psychopaths and sadists who don't give a damn ?

What happens to such people anyway? I don't know whether they get their just desserts - or not.

One way or other, they can't cheat reality, or disvalue life, and not pay - somehow.

We should remember too, that studies found it was children (who tortured animals) who showed some

probability of becoming murderers later; adult animal-torturers, I'd guess, are seldom killers.

Who knows which ones practised cruelty on animals as youngsters, except their families? what could and should those families do about it? and after the fact, it's easy to for someone to say "Ah, I knew Johnny had it in him to be a killer." In another 99 cases, he wouldn't be one.

(And I know you'd oppose social workers visiting homes to find tell-tale signs of psychopathic behaviour.)

We can't say for sure how anybody will turn out: statistics are a dangerous tool to rely on.

What I am sure though, is that pre-emptively restricting people's rights on the basis of what they could be capable of doing under certain circumstances, is a highly suspect, slippery slope, which can only lead to more restrictions for all.

If freedom comes with such a price - that we are never completely without risk, and have

to be aware and self-responsible - wouldn't you still gladly pay it?

Individual rights, essentially, are one's last line of defence against immoral, irrational

and evil people, but they are not a guarantee of security.

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Lets put it this way:

Several psychiatric and criminal studies show that just over 30% of children who were sexually abused end up being sexual abusers themselves later in life.

Studies vary from 1/4 to 1/3 of children who are abused in some way turning the abuse on animals.

By your logic, because of that correlation we would preemptively jail children who are found to have been abused.

Or do you say no?

Then, at what percentage does your preemptive jailing begin?

When it hits 40%, 60%?

When?

Not to jail, but definitely to provide corrective measures, mandatory if necessary. There are many forms to use a retaliatory force except incarceration.

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If he has a "proven record" he has actually committed the crime of arson or something of the sort- that would be what a "proven record" would be. Your argument makes no sense. You can't have a "proven record" without having done something and having it be illegal, therefore a matter of record.

If someone commits an activity that often correlates to people who commit arson you cannot punish him in advance based on that correlation.

I have never claimed that the drunk driving laws in the US are just- random tests and checkpoints are absolutely a rights violation.

If one is driving completely intoxicated, driving 120 miles per hour in a business district while swerving wildly through oncoming traffic he is not a potential danger, he is an imminent danger.

This is also beside the point because we aren't discussing what exists as though it were just- we are discussing what is just.

What you do with a pyromaniac who burned his own house couple of times? Would you just leave him to be? Does this make sense? And drunk driver who drives 60 in the quiet suburb could easily kill a pedestrian. Is that just? And I repeat-we are talking about prevention, not punishment.

Edited by Leonid
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What happens to such people anyway? I don't know whether they get their just desserts - or not.

One way or other, they can't cheat reality, or disvalue life, and not pay - somehow.

We should remember too, that studies found it was children (who tortured animals) who showed some

probability of becoming murderers later; adult animal-torturers, I'd guess, are seldom killers.

Who knows which ones practised cruelty on animals as youngsters, except their families? what could and should those families do about it? and after the fact, it's easy to for someone to say "Ah, I knew Johnny had it in him to be a killer." In another 99 cases, he wouldn't be one.

(And I know you'd oppose social workers visiting homes to find tell-tale signs of psychopathic behaviour.)

We can't say for sure how anybody will turn out: statistics are a dangerous tool to rely on.

What I am sure though, is that pre-emptively restricting people's rights on the basis of what they could be capable of doing under certain circumstances, is a highly suspect, slippery slope, which can only lead to more restrictions for all.

If freedom comes with such a price - that we are never completely without risk, and have

to be aware and self-responsible - wouldn't you still gladly pay it?

Individual rights, essentially, are one's last line of defence against immoral, irrational

and evil people, but they are not a guarantee of security.

By definition psychopaths don't carry about what others think and don't even try to hide their activities. To the contrary they often put it for display to show how they don't mind. And of course "pre-emptively restricting people's rights on the basis of what they could be capable of doing under certain circumstances, is a highly suspect, slippery slope"-any use of force will cause the same effect, unless it done under the supervision of objective law. Remember, we are not discussing people who occasionally slap their dog or even child. We are talking about subhuman creates who submit an animal to the horrendous sadistic torture just for the pleasure of it. Such a people have no respect for anything living, man or animal. They are inherently dangerous and have to be dealt with-this way or another.

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It seems the further we go, the more there are two separate (but slightly over-lapping)

topics here: What to do about severely brutal animal abusers? and,

What to do about psychopaths - who have not so far hurt a human - in an O'ist society?

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It seems the further we go, the more there are two separate (but slightly over-lapping)

topics here: What to do about severely brutal animal abusers? and,

What to do about psychopaths - who have not so far hurt a human - in an O'ist society?

In fact that could be treated as one topic: what to do with the people whose actions are deeply immoral and potentially dangerous but who haven't yet violate the rights of others. Could retaliatory force be used preemptivly? is there a place for the preventive action and to what degree? If yes, on what objective basis? Should deeply immoral act-like severe animal abuse-which doesn't involve violation of rights be punished? Can society decide that it doesn't want to be associated with such a people and will not tolerate them in its midst? Can society for example exile them with full and just compenasation for any loss of property and income? I must confess that I don't have answers for all these questions-this is uncharted territory. Hope that you or anybody else can contribute.

Edited by Leonid
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Going back to the original topic, "animal abuse laws", let me share with you this reflection:

We underestimate the power of social ostracism and economic boycott as tools to fight immoral people without violating their rights.

If you happen to know a neighbor wh tortures his pet, show your community what this son-of-a-bitch does.

Without trespassing, take photos or videos. Post them in Facebook and Youtube. Write a letter to the newspaper, to other neighbors, to his friends of family.

Do not buy from that person. Do not sell him goods.

Do all of this, of course, in accordance to the failure of his character and considering not to put yourself in danger.

Treat him with justice, which means, give him the treatment he deserves.

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I don't think that social ostracism and economic boycott will work on the real psycho-sociopath who doesn't give a damn about anything or anybody. And yet he's inherently dangerous person.

Edited by Leonid
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