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  1. Perhaps a moment of silence interrupted by a fart joke or sexual innuendo? Paulcoz.
  2. Original post by Mithrandir "Vegans are retarded. I've said that for many many years. Happy?" Mithrandir, this comment is disappointing. YOU engaging in empty name-calling!? Original post by tstrimp "That and fetuses have never raped and killed people." Carrots have never raped and killed people. I could say that those who claim to be pro-life are hypocrites when they take the LIFE of carrots. Of course, that would be completely intellectually dishonest of me because I know that there are valid reasons why people make a distinction between the lives of carrots and human beings. See my next point. Original post by ChurchSkiz "What about the people who claim to respect all life and living things except for humans? Don't eat cows or even eggs, don't make pillows out of feathers or balls out of leather, but aborting a late-term fetus is no problem. I've seen the same people decrying the inhumanity of eating a poor, unborn calf, rally for the right for women to dispose of unborn humans. Would they call it a travesty if we proposed to eat the leftovers of Planned Parenthood? I think there's some hypocrisy on both sides..." Carrots don't have a mental life. They are not self-aware, so they are incapable of having desires and interests and thus they cannot be benefited or HARMED. Killing them cannot be wrong. Until the unborn reach a specific stage of development (prior to which they are effectively brain-dead), the same reasoning applies. That foetuses look like tiny human beings after a time means nothing, as what is important is what is going on "under the hood"*. Up until a certain point, they are just clumps of cells no different to vegetables. The cows which are killed for their meat (and the animals killed to make leather) have a mental life and like human beings (including the extremely mentally retarded) "they have a life of their own that is of importance to them, apart from their utility to us" (Tom Regan). Eggs don't have a mental life, but the animals which lay them do and they are frequently mistreated in factory farms. Free-range chickens are killed for their meat once egg production decreases. Also, the male chicks which are born (approx. 50%) are mostly of no use in the egg industry and are killed simply because they have no economic value (they are in fact, an economic liability). All sufficiently developed animals (including human ones) exist for their own purposes, they are not somethings, they are somebodies and their individual worth should not be diminished by treating them as mere tools, commodities or renewable resources that provide benefits to others. Intelligence is not an ethically relevant reason to discriminate. *Neither are cosmetic physical differences. Original post by tstrimp "It's like criticizing PETA for not being concerned about how cruel cats can be to a mouse that they play with. The PETA movement isn't concerned about the cruel treatment of animals in general, they are concerned about the cruel treatment of animals by humans. They have a specific focus, and a single message, that is going to be much more powerful than the group who just wants bad things to stop happening." I understand how your statement supports the argument you were making, but I just want to note (as an aside): I don't like PETA, but the reason they appeal to human animals to think about and treat non-human animals differently is because adult human animals are moral agents. They have the capacity to reflect on their beliefs and behaviour and to think ethically. Whereas moral patients, who are unable to do these things and behave more instinctively cannot be engaged in discourse or reasoned with. Moral patients (including human ones) sometimes pose threats to others that need to be neutralised, but we still need to treat them with respect. This precludes their exploitation (and in the case of violent persons who have already been incarcerated, their needless execution). Preventing a cat from toying with a mouse is paternalism. A nice gesture, but not something which will change the way that cats think and behave in the future. Please try to understand the basis for other people's beliefs, instead of looking at their conclusions, judging these to be inconsistent according to your own reasoning, then throwing words like 'hypocrite' around because you assumed their decision-making process to be the same as your own (life = life = life, *sigh*). Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on November 29, 2010 2:08:06 AM]
  3. Quote: "The reason it failed was due to changing demands, in the same way drivers cannot be simply moved between Apple, Windows 3.1, Windows 7, Android and iPhone. Drivers are completely tied to whatever OS is using them. Without that, same as it happened with BIOS, they quickly become lowest common denominator." I understand your point, but I didn't mean you would store generic (one-size-fits-all) drivers intended to be used by multiple OSs. I was thinking of having a repository (ROM/SSD 'disc space') where tailor-made OS-specific drivers for multiple OSs could be copied during install and then drawn upon by the OS (as required) on boot. [Edited by - paulcoz on February 11, 2010 5:37:31 PM]
  4. Quote: "Maybe I'm missing something but why do the drivers have to live in the firmware? Why can't they live on the HDD itself?" "Also Windows already has a handful of drivers installed on the hard drive that it can fall back to. This is more or less the basis of "plug & play." If you install custom drivers (ones which are not included with the OS - which is often the case with newer motherboard chipsets & somewhat non-standard peripherals) they currently go onto the boot drive. So, if you remove the hard drive and replace it with one from another computer (which prolly has its own set of custom drivers) you will have to reinstall all of the custom drivers again. If it can't find a suitable one (or the drivers on the second boot drive are highly incompatible) the OS may not even boot, eg. move a boot drive from an AMD-based chipset computer to a newer Intel one. Basically, I was trying to think of a way to prevent the wholesale reinstall of drivers onto a single system. Quote: "Aka BIOS. We all know how well that worked out. Come to think of it, most people have really forgotten about why it failed." Yes, the idea was akin to including drivers in a special part of the 'BIOS'. Now reading about UEFI... Paulcoz.
  5. I have an idea about bootable hard drives and software drivers and would like to hear your thoughts about it. Wouldn't it be convenient for the user if you could unplug any bootable hard drive from a computer and plug it into any other similar (eg. x86) computer without having to (re)locate software drivers? Instead of installing drivers only to an OS partition on a hard drive, the drivers are first copied to a separate firmware or (small) SSD component that is not OS or file system specific. When you boot from a hard drive, the OS detects the hardware devices in your computer as normal. If the OS detects a device for which it does not already have a driver, it searches the firmware or SSD for a compatible driver. If it finds one, it copies and uses this driver for the current session. If it cannot find one, it either loads a generic (for example, display) driver, or as a last resort prompts the user to specify the location of the driver (eg. CD or downloaded files). In the latter case, the driver is then copied to the firmware or SSD, then this is copied and used for the current session (as previous). Drivers which are updated manually replace those already on the firmware or SSD, then the OS. The intended advantage of this system is that you can easily move boot drives between computers containing different hardware. If there is a hardware difference when the OS boots from a specific drive, you don't have to re-supply software drivers as the computer already knows where to find them, in most cases. --------------- The only issue that remains (that I can think of) concerns licensing. If the OS is tied to a specific computer (eg. it is an OEM license) and the hardware between computers differs significantly, then the license for the OS would need to be deactivated (but it would be simpler to reactivate the license online or over the phone if this were legal/possible, than re-install the drivers for the motherboard, display, audio, printer, scanner and so on...?). Non-OEM (& more expensive) OS licenses would not deactivate upon hardware changes and exhibit this "problem". Do you think this idea is at all feasible? Useful? Obviously, there may be some additional load time when swapping drives between systems, but this would be quicker than locating and supplying CD's and files manually (?). Paulcoz. Edit - The firmware or SSD might eventually contain the drivers for multiple OS's. I'm too drunk to work out further details. [wink] [Edited by - paulcoz on February 11, 2010 1:56:35 AM]
  6. Quote: "Art. 2. Nature has the right to an integral restoration." Perhaps we need to define 'nature'? Is the definition one which simply facilitates circumstances which favour the continuation of human life? Or, are we seriously considering the granting of rights to 'nature' that may result in the disadvantage or extinction of our species? As I see it, 'nature' will be preserved either way. We should not worry that 'nature' will not assert its right to "an integral restoration", as 'nature' does not preclude human or other lifeforms doing stupid things, or being so weak or insignificant that their extinction ensues. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on September 9, 2008 6:12:55 AM]
  7. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "Profit motive. To assume that no company would provide a reliable standard that could be counted on to make intelligent decisions regarding food and drugs is to assume there is no market for a company that offers that service." I don't assume that -no- company would offer that service, but you know as well as I do that companies act in their best interest and if they deem that cheaper prices vs. quality are in their interest (according to their means and demand), then they will act accordingly. Those that provide a reliable standard and make intelligent decisions may be in the minority and economically disadvantaged. Profit motive doesn't preclude regulators from seeking to under-cut the prices of their competitors. This would give them more market share, due to the increased custom of both the inferior operators and also those who have safe products who want to pay less for certification (see my later point about the market for luxury items as well). Those regulators with more stringent testing will likely have to adapt (which as I said earlier, lowers quality more generally) or go out of business. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "If your point is that some companies will have less stringent and therefore less costly certification programs, I'd say that would be a good development. If you wanted to involve the government in some manner, have them issue a monthly or quarterly report analyzing the effectiveness of the various certification systems and thus their validity. Although that too would be better served privately by a company like Consumer Reports or CDNET. Would that really be a good development, if public safety were to suffer? Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "Just assuming a typical market implementation you could expect a stratification from nearly crap, to incredibly stringent, with costs that vary accordingly. In much the same way as a 550SL is a better car than a Kia Rio. Even though you can buy a Rio for roughly $10,000 Mercedes still makes my $113,000 dream sedan. Gresham's Law does not apply to services or commodities." Sure, you get what you pay for - but companies make most of their money not from luxury items but from mainstream products. The market for $10000 cars is larger than that for $100000 ones. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "The entire economic system, working in it's own best interest would police the issues you are concerned with vigorously. Think of a local pharmacy. They want to maximize profits. You do that by good margins on your sales and by volume. Are you going to sell a product certified by a fly by night company that may just be slapping stickers on ever product that applies? The vast majority of both food and drugs are sold indirectly through distributors like Walmart and Eckerds. These distributors have a market image as well. Every step in the production chain is best served by offering a safe product. A certifier that would accept a producer that recently switched to regain credibility wouldn't have much credibility to lend. The product the certifiers are selling is their surety of the certified goods safety. Companies like Underwriters Laboratory have been certifying product safety for over a hundred years. Certification is voluntary, but a lot of retailers won't carry non-UL certified electronic goods, and some Countries won't allow the importation of non-UL certified devices. Failing all of that, you could apply regulation as needed." I'm not convinced that these issues would be policed. Most of what you've said makes sense, but at the end of the day you would still be allowing more unsafe products onto shelves somewhere. The people who end up with the unsafe products are those who can't afford the pricier ones. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "I'd argue that a publically traded company has more stringent rules of disclosure than any government agency. Earlier in this thread I linked an article about a lawsuit pending. The litigant is an organic food producer that wants access to the rules the FDA is using to certify organic food producers. The government is not cooperating. A good company, as part of its service would make avaliable the details of its certification. Again, one isn't purchasing an arcane formula for an excellent test, one is purchasing a surety." Private businesses are very obliging until something goes wrong and the finger is pointed at them...and then up go the walls and out come the paper shredders! :) Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "Much of the problem with the FDA isn't that it's government based, it's that it is a monop"oly. Replacing a public monopoly with a private monopoly wouldn't really address the issues. Perhaps an intelligent form of regulation would require a 500 million dollar bond, or some high barrier to entry to ensure the capabilities and responsibility of the company in question. One would think that companies would be smart enough not to sell crap that would hurt its customers knowingly, and people wouldn't gamble on their health to save a buck knowingly but I suppose it could happen on the periphery. A high barrier to entry would ensure that fly by night companies couldn't enter the market, and that companies that failed in its task would have deep enough pockets to be punished by anyone that suffers from it. You were arguing that you wanted to open up the (testing and approval) market. Now, you're saying that a high barrier to entry (based on $worth) would be a good thing, which seems like the complete opposite? I don't think a system which took into account the financial power of a company would be a good thing, as that seems to favour the wealthy. I can think of many examples of "ethical" products which are in the minority and punished by the market. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "I haven't seen Sicko so I can't really comment. I think Moore is a talented entertainer but I don't have a lot of respect for his "expert" analysis. I can point to a very simplified market reality as my grounds for my belief but I don't know enough about the case your referring to to extend it in any intelligent way. Imagine tasking the government with putting a cellphone in the hand of every US citizen age 15 and up. What type of market penetration might you expect? At what cost? The free market accomplshed this goal without taxing the population and prices have gone down continously. Contrast this with healthcare, which the government has had a heavy hand on since the 1950's.(in the states at least) Market penetration has remained static or worsened and prices have gone up dramatically." Moore is a populist and his rhetoric is not flawless, but his case on this issue is compelling. Again, I only say this because of my observation of Australian systems. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "There is no argument from me whatsoever that government is bought and paid for by industry, and at the cost of the taxpayer. They buy laws, they carve out cartels, and they dodge indictment. It's a kinder gentler style of facism. That was the thrust of my comment to Jan earlier. It's not difficult to point out a monopoly but I challenge you to point out a monopoly not codified by government first. My problem with regulation is that it's very very difficult to get it right. Most attempts at regulation tend to create cartels and favor one industry over another, and one specific company of that industry over all others. It's not just that politicians are corrupt and uneducated on the details. It's that the entire proposition is extremely difficult. Whatever shortcomings of the market it has some very real strengths. It relies on people acting in their own best interest, which requires no oversight. It arranges, reacts, and organizes spontaneously. When government tries to manage an economy its essentially replacing the summation of millions and millions of people acting independently on their own behalf with a lethargic and often morally compromised committee. The economic story of the 20th century was the collapse of the most famous planned economies and their replacement with some form of marketized economy. Governments that have plunged down that rabbit hole and suffered the consequences are bounding back towards a marketized economy, governments that haven't are slowly trudging towards the fate of the previous countries. If the US maintains its current path and China maintains its current path near the end of my lifetime China should eclipse the US economically. So yeah, I'm completely against corporate welfare and subsidy, but not for the same populist reason as the stereotypical left-leaner. I'm against it because as you rightly pointed out, it's anti-market. I agree with most of what you've written here. Regulation can be hard to get right and can create problems, but I don't think the solution is to discard it, rather reform it. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on January 17, 2008 10:21:27 PM]
  8. Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "What I'm saying is you should offer a path, whereby a third party company could test and certify food and drugs to be safe for consumption, thus making them legal for sale in the states, while at the same time maintaining the FDA for the interim." I understand that, but what's to stop these (private) third parties from offering cheaper (and inferior) services than their competitors, thus legally allowing unsafe products onto the market for smaller (certification) fees? Aside from the fact that consumers could be harmed in the short term, the result of this could conceivably be that other regulators follow suit (lower their standards and prices), as this is something which businesses typically do in order to remain competitive. This would have the effect of lowering quality generally. A company could try to create a niche for itself by offering higher standards, but the market environment makes it harder for them to stay in business (due to the higher costs). Would this more privatised system of yours allow for penalties for regulators approving or companies selling harmful products? Consumers would soon learn that a third party regulator was not to be trusted and this party might struggle, but what's to stop them from changing to and operating under another name, or the inferior producers from switching regulators as they seek to re-establish their credibility? What might happen if these different private entities were to collude? To stop such practices you would need regulation, with registers of unscrupulous operators, and consequence (?). Given your comments below, it seems that you are not entirely opposed to regulation. How to maintain the oversight presently afforded by entities which are government-controlled (eg. FOI) in the case of private ones which answer largely to their shareholders and are not subject to the same laws of disclosure? What to do when there is a crisis involving public safety? Quote: Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom "If you yearn for a half pregnant solution then have the government regulate the private industry instead of declaring a monopoly for itself. Of course, that will ultimately devolve into something similar to what we have now." I don't think it would be a positive thing to give all of these third parties the absolute power to decide which products go on the market. What would be the upsides and downsides of setting up some sort of tender system, which allows potential regulators (rather than ONLY the FDA) to compete to be THE ONE on a contract basis? This last suggestion of yours sounds more palatable, but something similar has happened here in Australia involving the health system and the result has been the deterioration of public hospitals and more cost for less service for private health insurance holders. I know this is going to make you giggle, but Michael Moore's 'Sicko' does a good job at explaining the perils of privatised vs. "socialised" medicine. I only bring this up because I can personally see parallels between the Australian and US scenarios. Regardless, there's still the problem of industry influencing government. Do you have anything to say about this, since it's VERY anti-competitive? It seems that there are always reports about superior, cheaper technologies failing to be adopted because the producers of less efficient ones are buddies with someone in or have the ear of government. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on January 17, 2008 3:30:36 AM]
  9. Quote: "I don't even call for abolishing the FDA. I'm asking that its monopoly status be revoked and allow competing firms in the market. So Safe Food and Drug Inc. can test and verify a product, also making its sale legal in the US. If you don't trust them, don't use products that aren't run through the FDA. If you do, enjoy the product that is now legal at your own rational risk. Ultimately the FDA would be defunct and we could quit getting milked to pay thousands of bureaucrat's salaries." Hi Dredd, Mithrandir seems to be saying that some companies in their haste to compete cannot be trusted and that their products should not go on the market without stringent testing (a rubber stamp that actually means something). Your argument above suggests that you are happy for harmful products to be released onto the market because you believe that the companies producing (or certifying) these products will ultimately go out of business (noone wants to buy their products, or unsafe products they have deemed fit for consumption). In the latter scenario, aren't people more likely to get hurt? If the FDA is not doing its job then reform is needed, however this broad strategy of yours seems motivated by a specific dislike of the FDA. I agree with your anti-monopoly stance, but your solution seems to go too far in one direction. Paulcoz.
  10. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "I am not arguing that plants feel pain. I am using the whole "Plants Feel Pain" to demonstrate that you can not use a Stimulus/Response as the definition of Pain. In other words I agree that Plants do not feel pain (I have said this about 6 or 7 times now: Please read my posts properly before responding). Ok, now that I have - again - made my position clear." I agree that we cannot use stimulus/response alone as the -definition- of pain, but we can use stimulus/response tests to assess the behaviour of and -strengthen the case for pain- in living things which meet the other requirements for it. That's all I am saying. I agree that cognitive awareness is the most important factor, but even this is judged in part by the observation of behaviour. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "I dispute this. Plants can (and do) produce toxins, some of which are biologically expensive to produce and/or can be toxic to the plant too. So, it is evolutionary advantageous not to produce these toxins unless they are needed. So this statement is completely wrong." Evolutionary advantage in feeling pain. Your comments have little to do with the efficacy of pain. If the toxins are useful in the defense against omnivores/herbivores, then plants must either produce and release them (and risk damage), else sustain damage / die. They can already sense damage to their cells and release ethylene and other regenerative chemicals accordingly, so pain would be redundant (unlike in someone who feels the pain associated with a laceration, discovers that they are hurt, and chooses to go to a hospital). Pain would not be advantageous if the plant has already developed other strategies for avoiding toxicity, eg. storing the toxins (or toxic precursors, which limit the potency of such chemicals until they are needed) in parts of the plant separate from metabolism. Insect-Plant Biology - 4.11 Compartmentation Quote: Original post by Edtharan "It is also advantageous for some plants to respond to external stimuli. Take for example the Venus Fly trap, or the Sundew plants. Both of these will find it an advantage to be able to sense the presence of an insect on them and respond to it. Again, an evolutionary advantage for any plant in this circumstance that can detect and respond to external stimuli." That's response to stimuli, not pain. The purpose of pain in animals is to deter and encourage specific self-enacted behaviours through learning. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "There are plants (I can't remember the name at the moment - but I'll look it up and post it in my next post), that fold their leaves up when they take damage. It would not be advantageous for them to just fold them up at just touch as when the wind blows they would bump into each other (or a nearby plant) and this would cause the leaves to fold up and the plant to have a reduced capacity for gathering sunlight. If they can sense "damage" (ie a noxious stimuli that would translate to pain - wouldn't something taking bites out of you cause you pain?), and respond to it without responding to bumps caused by the wind, then this would be an evolutionary advantage. So 3 cases where it would be evolutionary advantageous for plants to discriminate against touch and pain." That's a real stretch on your part. Leaves which are blown by a breeze are not damaged, hence the lack of a defensive response. Branches damaged in a hurricane will result in a defensive response. The same goes for being eaten. Damage is the key factor here. Plants Under Attack - Plant Biologists Discover Plant Defenses Against Insects Quote: Original post by Edtharan "Ok. These people are building a strawman argument. The "Plant's Feel Pain" argument is based on the often used definition of Pain as the Stimulus/Response definition. They do not use the Cognitive Awareness definition. This argument against "Plant's Feel Pain" uses the definition of Cognitive Awareness. It is like if I defined A as 3 and B as 10. then arguing that B is therefore not equal to A and so therefore A can't equal 3. It is a complete logical fallacy. Look, I don't think that plants feel pain because I used the Cognitive Awareness definition. But If someone used the Stimulus/Response definition (ie that because animals respond to noxious stimulus, then they must feel pain), then by that definition (responds to noxious stimuli) plants must feel pain. But, this is [u]ONLY[/u] (can I stress this any more!?) if you use the Stimulus/Response definition of pain. If you use the Cognitive Awareness definition, then plants can not feel pain. So the argument for plant feeling pain is: 1) We know that an organism is in pain because it responds appropriately to noxious stimuli 2) Plants can and do respond appropriately to noxious stimuli Conclusion: Plant feel Pain. There is not even any mention of the necessity of consciousness in that Stimulus/Response definition, so why then do you post arguments against the Plant Pain where they use a completely different definition of pain as an argument against it? It is a strawman argument. But just because I think that argument against plant pain is a strawman does not make me argue for plant pain. There are other valid arguments against Plant Pain, but that one is not it. You do not counter a false argument by using another false argument. The entire premise of that article was that Plant are not Sentient. Well, they are not. But if you are invoking sentience as the definition of "Experience" in "Experience Pain", the you are not using the Stimulus/Response definition of pain. The plant Pain argument is a counter to the Stimulus/Response definition of pain. Not the Sentience/Cognitive Awareness definition. It is Apples and Oranges mate. Cognitive Awareness (Apples) is not the same as Stimulus/Response (Oranges). If you argue the Cognitive Awareness (Apples) against Stimulus/Response (Oranges) then you are by definition using a Strawman argument. This guy goes on talking about consciousness and all that, but he never challenges the claim that: "Using the Stimulus Response definition of Pain (please note, not the consciousness or Cognitive Awareness definitions), then Plants, which demonstrate Stimulus Response behaviours to noxious stimuli, must experience pain". He is arguing that: "Using the Cognitive Awareness definition of pain, plants do not have the capacity to feel pain". Look at those two claim. One says if all you are using is Stimulus/Response, then plants have the capacity to fell pain, but if you are not using that and require a higher set of abilities, then they do not. they are not mutually exclusive, only the definitions of pain are mutually exclusive. Both the definitions are used by supporters of Animal Rights. I agree with the supported of Animal rights using the definition of Cognitive Awareness. I disagree with the supporter of Animal Rights that use the Stimulus response." It's not a strawman argument. The author's point is that some of the proponents of plant pain emphasise the word 'sentient' (eg. aware of external stimuli, according to the stimulus/response definition) and then use the nature of that word as the basis of an argument that plants must therefore be (self-)aware in the cognitive sense. This doesn't make sense, but that doesn't stop 'plant pain' people from making the argument (& others from countering it). As the author says, according to stimulus/response in the strictest/limited interpretation, many non-living things are sentient. That is ridiculous. Stimulus/response does and should play a role in our determination of pain, -but not in isolation-. See my first point. If you agree with the bolded comment above, then there's nothing more for us to discuss. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "You know, I said almost this exact same thing and stated it as a reason why I don't think that plants experience pain. However, this relies on the Cognitive Awareness definition of pain (which I subscribe to due to my own on going experiences with pain). However, if you take the Stimulus/Response definition than you don't agree with the above statement. In the Stimulus/Response definition, you don't need to have any complex tissue. You only go off what you can directly measure. That is: If you cause a noxious (damaging) stimuli to an organism and it responds in a way that is appropriate (in an animal they move away, in a plant it might be to limit the damage - eg release toxins, fold the leaves, etc). In the cognitive awareness definition, this Stimulus/Response is not enough, you need more complex behaviours and physiological structures." Quote: Original post by Edtharan "And this same argument can be applied to animals. Their responses can be over-interpreted as them "Experiencing" pain, when they might just be responding without any awareness of it, to the noxious stimuli. See it all hangs on this "Active Awareness" thing. If an animals does not have the "complexity of tissue" (that is higher level brain function that allow abstract thinking and a self referentially), then they can't experience pain. Plants don't have the complexity to do either of those things, and that is why I don't think plants feel pain." Quote: Original post by Edtharan "Well you are arguing against me and I am making the claim that not all animals feel pain. So if you are arguing against my position, then you are either arguing for Stimulus/Response definition, or are arguing that all animals feel pain (or none). So why, if you agree with my position, are you arguing against me? My last 2 or 3 posts have explained this detail. Are you really reading my posts, or are you just skimming them and seeing the words "Plant" and "Pain" and concluding that I believe that plants feel pain and that I am arguing that they do. If you were reading my posts, then you would know that I do not claim that plants feel pain and that I am not arguing for this, in fact I am arguing the exact opposite! The fact that you keep posting arguments at me that are trying to say that plants don't feel pain indicates to me that you either are: 1) Not reading my posts 2) Not understanding my posts 3) Deliberately trying to be annoying (ie a troll). Which one is it?" It's 2. I have found some of your meanings difficult to interpret, as you have not adequately distinguished between arguments you support and oppose in all of your responses. You sometimes choose ambiguous words in the context of previous sentences/paragraphs (for example, you would no doubt be confused if I used the word 'they' in the context of multiple parties) - those kinds of things. I sometimes choose less appropriate words and that causes confusion...it's no big deal. Why are you arguing with me? :) We're both seeking to clarify each other's position. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on December 1, 2007 10:48:58 PM]
  11. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "A couple of things about that criteria list. First: One thing was that they limited the subject to "Animals". As I have said, without further proof, making this kind of distinction between one type of organism and another is arbitrary (in the best light and bigotry in the worst). What if I applied the same kind of reasoning to another arbitrary criteria: Say brown eyes and blue eyes. What if I limited the sample to brown eyed people and then claimed that there was no evidence that blue eyed people could feel pain because they were not included in the study. Understand? They didn't include plants as part of the study, and because they don't appear in the study, you conclude that they can't feel pain. Second: That study was done around 20 years ago. In the last 5 years, the entire concept of pain have been changed due to new techniques (functional magnetic resonance imaging, etc). That study focused of the Stimulus/Response of pain, yes the included the brain in their criteria, but didn't actually explain why it was necessary (along with the need for neurons). Out of those criteria, the only one the plant failed on was the inclusion of a "Brain". As they gave no reason why a brain was an absolute necessity for the ability to feel pain, then I have to conclude that the inclusion of the brain criteria was an arbitrary one (governed by the difficulty of studying reactions in organisms - plants or animals - that lack a brain). The fell for the Like = Same fallacy." Quote: Original post by Edtharan "But why is -a brain- necessary where as a Communicative Network is not? A Brain is just one type of Communicative Network, so if communicative networks can't do it, then why can a brain? You can wire up a series of Resistors, Capacitors and Transistors into a communicative network without it being a simulation of Neurons. However, this Communicative Network can process information and can be set up to make a robot "avoid" noxious stimulus. This is so different from any biological entity that the similarities between a plant and an animal are far less than between this circuit and any organisms. So, if we are going for the "Similar" argument, because this set of wires displays the same phenomena as do animals, then anything closer to an animal than this set of wires and semiconductors must also feel pain - ERGO: Plant feel pain. Either you end up with 1) Plants feel pain or 2) Not all animals feel pain. As I have said, according to the criteria I have learned from doctors and pain specialists, Experiencing Pain is an active mental phenomena. Plants don't have the complexity (as in complexity theory) in their communicative networks to have such activity. Also, many animals don't have that same capacity too. I believe that plants (to the best of our knowledge) don't "Experience" Pain, but that many animals also don't "Experience" Pain for the exact same reasons (lacking the capacity to). But if you are arguing that we can tell that an animal is feeling pain due to their reactions to noxious stimuli, then you are in the first camp. You are using the Stimulus/Response criteria of pain, but then because plants demonstrate these abilities too, they must also experience pain (unless you are making an arbitrary distinction based on a logical fallacy - empathy)." Plants are excluded, not simply because they are plants, but because they are not sufficiently developed to support the incredibly complex processes which are required to experience. They do not have a brain, central nervous system or sensory neurons (to which regular cells cannot compare). Why are these things necessary for the -experience- of (self) conscious pain? THE DIVERSIONARY TACTIC OF PLANT PAIN Quote: E. THE RELEVANCE OF SPECIALIZED STRUCTURE To state the obvious, science, including the biological sciences, are generally committed to the working assumption of scientific materialism or physicalism [2]. Now, unless the "new" biology has returned to some arcane version of vitalism or dualism, then we must start with the generally accepted scientific assumption that matter is the only existent or real primordial constituent of the universe. Let it be said at the outset that scientific materialism as such does not preclude the existence of emergent or functional qualities like that of mind, consciousness, and feeling (or even, dare I say it, free will), but all such qualities are dependant upon the existence of organized matter. If there is no hardware, there is nothing for the software to run on. If there is no intact, living brain, there is simply no mind. Now, just for the record it should also be said that even contemporary versions of dualism or mind-stuff theories will also make depended their embodied mental states in this world on the presence of sufficiently organized matter. To briefly state the case, what is referred to as non-reductive materialism [3] would simply consider cognitive functions like consciousness and mind as emergent properties of sufficiently organized matter. Just as breathing is a function of a complex system of organs referred to aggregately as the respiratory system, so too is consciousness a function of the immensely complex information-processing capabilities of a central nervous system. Now, according to such a neo-functionalist account of mental states, HOW the matter is organized and in with WHAT materials is not necessarily delimited to the mammalian brain. It is possible in theory, that our Alpha Centaurians who evolved from carrots could equally instantiate some "higher" functions of consciousness. This may even be possible with a future computer given a sufficiently complex and orderly organization of its hardware and clever software. While such a computer does not yet exist, and we don't yet know about those Alpha Centaurians, we DO know that certain living organisms on this planet do possess the requisite complexity of specialized and highly organized structure for the emergence of mental states. In theory, plants could possess a mental state like pain, but IF, AND ONLY IF there is a requisite complexity of organized plant tissue which could serve to INSTANTIATE the kinds of complex information processing that is prerequisite to such higher order mental states as that of consciousness and felt pain. A mammalian brain is not necessary but an immensely complex hierarchically organized central processor of some form would be. Now, where is the morphological evidence that such a complexity of tissue in plants exist? Single cells or even aggregates of surrounding tissue is not sufficient for there to be a functional state of felt pain any more than even todays complex integrated circuit chips evince consciousness of any kind. A lot is required and plants just don't have it. This is not to say that they cannot exhibit complex reactions, but we are simply OVER-INTERPRETING such reactions when they are designated as "felt pain". With respect to all mammals, birds, and reptiles, we know that they possess a sufficiently complex neural structure to enable felt pain plus an evolutionary need for such consciously felt states. They possess complex and specialized organizations of tissue call sense organs, they possess a specialized and complex structure for processing information and for centrally orchestrating appropriate behaviours in accordance with mental representations, integrations and reorganizations of that information. The proper attribution of felt pain in these animals is well justified, but it is not for plants by any stretch of the imagination. I also suggest reading the section entitled 'THE FALLACIES BEHIND THE PLANT PAIN ARGUMENT'. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "And you just demonstrated that you have completely missed my point. Many animals also fail the criteria of pain. But you are arguing that these animals, even though they fail the same criteria that the plants do, feel pain but plant don't. That is my point: If you are dismissing that plants can't feel pain, but animals do, then you are falling for the Logical Fallacy of the Appeal to Emotion (Empathy - that is you empathise with the animals but not the plants). If you apply the same criteria that you do to animals, then either you get: 1) Plants fell pain (Stimulus/Response) or 2) Not all animals feel pain (cognitive awareness)." Please don't tell me what I am arguing. I'm NOT claiming that -all- animals feel pain. In fact, in my last post I drew attention to an animal which doesn't naturally feel pain - this claim being based on the results of testing, as described in the article. However, most of the vertebrates (including us, cows, sheep & pigs) do experience pain according to the results of similar experiments. AFAIK, only a few of the invertebrates (which are less complex creatures) might feel pain & probably to a lesser degree than the vertebrates. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on December 1, 2007 8:52:26 AM]
  12. Quote: Original post by tstrimp "So it's okay to eat naked mole rats?" Did your mouth start watering when you saw a picture of one? ;) Paulcoz.
  13. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "Again, no. I have stated that I have posted those comments as an argument against the Stimulus/Response argument (which I disagree with). What I have done is shown that without arbitrary lines in the sand as to what organisms the Stimulus/Response argument is applied to (ie that plants are excluded because they are plants), and use purely the Stimulus/Response definition of pain, then one has to agree that plants also feel pain as they show stimulus/response behaviour to noxious stimuli. What I have been doing is highlighting that line and then asking whoever agrees with the stimulus/response argument to justify why it is not an arbitrary line. So far no one has even attempted to justify why that line exists and why it is in the place it is. All I have got so far is: "Because they are plants". All I have asked is for people to back up their claims. If you claim that plants can't feel pain, then explain why that does not contradict the evidence." Your argument assumes that the stimulus/response test should be considered in isolation, or that those who reject plant pain have said that this is the case. Stimulus/response is simply -one in a series- of indicators that scientists use to determine the existence of pain & is meaningless when considered alone. A number of requirements must be satisfied during testing (see the IME criteria I posted). Noone is arbitrarily applying or not the stimulus/response criteria to plants. It IS applied to plants and they may meet that single criteria. However, as you have said yourself, plants don't meet all of the criteria for pain, the evidence for which increases as each additional requirement is satisfied - the case is cumulative. Quote: Original post by Edtharan "Can you explain why Neurons are the only physiological structure that can carry pain signals? If you can explain why there can be no other physiological structure that can transmit pain signals, then i will concede this point. Why do you make the requirement that the organisms has to have Neurons (or at least why you agree with this claim)? In my own exploration of Neural Networks and Complexity in Information Systems, I have found that any Communicating Network performs processes on inputs to that network. Whether it is through neurotransmitters, electrical signals, or even light. It does not matter what it is made of, as long as the network is communicative, then it will process (it might not do anything interesting, but it will process). Point: Damage to one part of a plant will result in reaction in a remote part of the plant. Point: If an organism shows a reaction to an event at a remote site on the organism, then some form of communication from the event site to the reaction site must have occurred. Point: If this communication does not involve a direct connection (eg: a single cell stretches between the sites), then a network of such signals must exist. So, if a plant (the Accasia tree) when being eaten by an animal (event site) produces Tannins within their leaves that are not eaten (remote reaction site), then there must exist a communication network within the plant for this to occur. But, any communicating network performs processing on the input (the "noxious" stimulus of the plant being eaten). Now, not all communicating networks produce interesting behaviour, however, if a plant has these systems (communicating network), then if it can provide the plant with a survival advantage (produce harmful chemicals - tannins - when it is being eaten), then evolution will encourage the development of these systems. So if a plant has these systems (and chemical signalling between cells has be comprehensively demonstrated in plants), then why, if evolution favours the development of them, do you think that such systems could not do the things I have posted?" See my previous point. There's little point us debating the existence of "neural pathways" in plants as the criteria you sought to address specifies pathways between receptors sensitive to noxious stimuli and -a brain-. Neurons are a core part of the spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves in vertebrates. You may find this interesting: Naked mole rat: Quote: "The skin of naked mole rats lacks a key neurotransmitter called Substance P that is responsible in mammals for sending pain signals to the central nervous system. Therefore, when naked mole rats are cut, scraped or burned, they feel no pain. When injected with Substance P, however, the pain signalling works as it does in other mammals." Naked mole-rats may resemble hot dogs with teeth, but pain researchers still find them attractive Substance P is a key neurotransmitter (associated with pain) which does not occur in plants. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on November 30, 2007 8:03:08 PM]
  14. Quote: Original post by Edtharan snip I've had it with this discussion. Your last response to me (your attempt to demonstrate that plants could meet the requirements for pain as science understands it, despite their lacking a brain, in addition to the other liberties you take when addressing each of the criteria I posted, eg. "painkillers", "nervous system-ish", "sorta the same if you squint a bit", "if the answer is I don't know..." - demanding proof of non-existence rather than existence etc...) is such a sloppy insult to science that I simply can't be bothered reasoning with you. You say you agree with my conclusions, so it's obvious that you're being intellectually dishonest here, trying to make it sound as if only YOU know what the "correct" case for pain is...despite the points made in this thread being the same as yours - that stimulus/response alone is not enough, that pain is the product of numerous physiological mechanisms working in unison (mechanisms which plants don't have), that the awareness of pain is required. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on November 28, 2007 9:40:22 AM]
  15. @Edtharan - Do animals feel pain?: By drawing analogies between humans and other animals, researchers tentatively conclude that fish and octopuses can feel pain, but insects can't. But the cutoff point is inevitably fuzzy Quote: "In 1987, under the auspices of the Institute of Medical Ethics, 18 people began meeting regularly to try to come up with some consensus about the rights and wrongs of experiments on animals. The group, which met for three years, contained campaigners for animal welfare, philosophers and lawyers as well as scientists from industry or academia. The working party's report, published last year, spells out criteria by which policy-makers can judge both animal suffering and the value of a particular piece of proposed research. The IME working party decided that an animal can feel pain if it meets the following criteria: Receptors sensitive to noxious stimuli are present in functionally useful positions on or in the body. Brain contains structures analogous to the human cerebral cortex. Nervous pathways link receptors sensitive to noxious events and the higher brain. Receptors in the central nervous system, especially the brain, are activated by opioid substances, implicated in pain control. Painkillers modify the response to noxious stimuli and are chosen by an animal given access to them when the experience is unavoidable. The animal responds to noxious stimuli by avoiding them or by minimising the damage to its body. The animal's avoidance of noxious stimuli is relatively inelastic. The response is largely unchanged irrespective of how much the animal is rewarded for a particular behaviour. The animal's response to noxious stimuli persists and it learns how to associate neutral events with noxious stimuli." One of the key points I can see here is that administering painkillers to living things which do in fact feel pain and are experiencing it, should result in a change in their behaviour / responses to painful stimuli. The Merck Vetinary Manual - Pain Perception Quote: "Pain serves a protective role to alert an individual to injury from the environment or from within the individual. Based on what is known to date, all vertebrates, and some invertebrates, experience pain in response to actual or potential tissue damage" Vertebrate Vertebrate - Mammal Fish do feel pain, scientists say (although some say that the lack of the neocortex which is found in humans, cows, sheep & pigs, limits their capacity for it) Prawns feel pain says research Quote: "When acetic acid was dabbed onto the antennae of the prawn, Palaemon elegans, it elicited an immediate reflex tail reflex response - something known as nociception. The prawn also undertook some prolonged "grooming" activities on the affected antenna." ... "When the antenna was numbed with the drug benzocaine, a local anaesthetic, both sets of responses were inhibited." It's strange that there isn't a code of ethics for horticulturists related to the pruning of plants... Quote: Original post by Edtharan "But should all human rights be given to animals? If all rights that humans have should be available for animals, then do they get the right to vote? In the Peter Singer Article he explains why that question is not really a good question. But, because of your unwillingness to go into specifics, it does not really illuminate your own position and therefore is a cop out to attempt to restrict how we can bring a counter argument against you. Because you have not made a claim as to what rights animals should have, you can always change it later, in other words "Move the Goal Posts"." If you check the context of the comment to which you first responded, you'll see that I was making a point about the way we accord rights in our society (-actual- equality is mostly irrelevant) and why it is therefore inconsistent to deny consideration to other living beings deemed 'less equal' or inferior in some respects. My meaning was well articulated. A list of specific rights (whether human or animal) is superfluous to that argument. I'll respond to your other points about releasing animals into the wild (which seems like a daft idea, considering that domesticated animals may be less able to fend for themselves) & breeding, when I have more time. Paulcoz. [Edited by - paulcoz on November 28, 2007 1:16:56 AM]