The Ethics of Life

What would you do if?

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Compassionist
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The Ethics of Life

Post #1

Post by Compassionist »

"Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil." - Albert Schweitzer, "Civilization and Ethics", 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
Last edited by Compassionist on Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #11

Post by nobspeople »

Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am “Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.� – Albert Schweitzer, “Civilization and Ethics�, 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
So you tried it with fruits (for ethical reasons?) and it didn't work? So you went to vegetables to get what you needed. Does that make you unethical now?
Seems if you have an issue with plants and went to fruits, there must have been an ethical reason. And now that you can't just do fruits, you made an exception on your ethics for personal reasons?
Then how can you look down on others that don't share your POV (which is what you're doing here)?
NOTE: I've cut back on meat and in 2021 I'm making the jump to vegetarian for my own personal reasons, and wish others would do the same.

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #12

Post by Compassionist »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:42 am
Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am “Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.� – Albert Schweitzer, “Civilization and Ethics�, 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
So you tried it with fruits (for ethical reasons?) and it didn't work? So you went to vegetables to get what you needed. Does that make you unethical now?
Seems if you have an issue with plants and went to fruits, there must have been an ethical reason. And now that you can't just do fruits, you made an exception on your ethics for personal reasons?
Then how can you look down on others that don't share your POV (which is what you're doing here)?
NOTE: I've cut back on meat and in 2021 I'm making the jump to vegetarian for my own personal reasons, and wish others would do the same.
I am not looking down on anyone. All biological organisms behave according to their genes, environments, nutrients and experiences. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of a lion, I would behave like that lion. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of Ted Bundy, I would behave like Ted Bundy. For most of my life so far, I was an omnivore. I became a vegan over 14 years ago because I met two vegans who told me that it is possible to live without eating other sentient organisms or consuming eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

I long to make the world free from all suffering, unfairness and deaths, but I lack the power to do so. My biggest regret is that I am not all-powerful. If I were all-powerful, I would have gone back in time and prevented all suffering, unfairness and deaths. If I were all-powerful, I would have made all living things equally all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful and the owner of an infinite number of universes each. If I were all-powerful, all beings would be forever happy. As things stand now, all sentient biological organisms are doomed to suffer and die. No one is going to save us from suffering, unfairness, and deaths. I want to save and improve all lives, but I don't have the power to do so. I am so sad because of all the suffering, unfairness and deaths. I have postponed some deaths and improved some lives but that's not enough. If God is truly real and good, why didn't God prevent all suffering, unfairness and deaths? I think God is either evil and imaginary or evil and real. I can't decide which, so, I am agnostic regarding the existence and nature of God.

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #13

Post by Difflugia »

Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am"Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil." - Albert Schweitzer, "Civilization and Ethics", 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
This is a year-and-a-half old, so I don't know if you're still struggling with the ethical difference between fruitarian and vegan. If you are, though, I have some questions and observations.

First, while you were a fruitarian, what did you do with the seeds? Is there a difference to you between actively destroying (eating or otherwise) seeds and putting them in an environment where you know (or can be reasonably sure) that they won't sprout (like throwing them in the trash or composting them)?

Nearly all grains and legumes are annual plants (they only live one season, even in an ideal environment) and their seeds are harvested after the parent plants have died. Thus, no actively growing plants are harmed and from a nutritional standpoint, there are several combinations of grains (particularly rice and corn treated with lime) and legumes that provide a complete (or nearly so) nutrition profile.

I don't know what your overall economic situation is like, but if you are able to keep a garden, you might be able to come up with a way to offset whatever you feel your ethical impact is on the lives involved in your survival. Even if you just enjoy houseplants, you might be able to keep some that allow you to connect with your food. As a hobby, I sprout seeds from grocery store fruits and vegetables and keep them as houseplants. In the wild, very few seeds even germinate, let alone grow to maturity, but I know from experience that citrus trees, fig trees, and date palms can be grown from seed and kept as potted plants. I kept a popcorn plant in a ten-gallon pot one year, but even indoors, aphids kept finding it.

If you haven't done so in the intervening time since your original post, I'd suggest trying to come up with at least an ethical ranking for different ways of using other organisms. You've already decided that meat, milk, and eggs are out (would milk and eggs be ethically OK if you kept the animals yourself and knew they were content?), but what are your goals as far as plants are concerned? Are you trying to keep from killing an individual plant that wouldn't otherwise have died yet? Is it OK to harvest leaves as long as the plant isn't killed? If you plant onions and garlic, for example, would it be OK to trim the tops even if you don't dig up the bulbs?

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #14

Post by Compassionist »

Difflugia wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:12 am
Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am"Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil." - Albert Schweitzer, "Civilization and Ethics", 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
This is a year-and-a-half old, so I don't know if you're still struggling with the ethical difference between fruitarian and vegan. If you are, though, I have some questions and observations.

First, while you were a fruitarian, what did you do with the seeds? Is there a difference to you between actively destroying (eating or otherwise) seeds and putting them in an environment where you know (or can be reasonably sure) that they won't sprout (like throwing them in the trash or composting them)?

Nearly all grains and legumes are annual plants (they only live one season, even in an ideal environment) and their seeds are harvested after the parent plants have died. Thus, no actively growing plants are harmed and from a nutritional standpoint, there are several combinations of grains (particularly rice and corn treated with lime) and legumes that provide a complete (or nearly so) nutrition profile.

I don't know what your overall economic situation is like, but if you are able to keep a garden, you might be able to come up with a way to offset whatever you feel your ethical impact is on the lives involved in your survival. Even if you just enjoy houseplants, you might be able to keep some that allow you to connect with your food. As a hobby, I sprout seeds from grocery store fruits and vegetables and keep them as houseplants. In the wild, very few seeds even germinate, let alone grow to maturity, but I know from experience that citrus trees, fig trees, and date palms can be grown from seed and kept as potted plants. I kept a popcorn plant in a ten-gallon pot one year, but even indoors, aphids kept finding it.

If you haven't done so in the intervening time since your original post, I'd suggest trying to come up with at least an ethical ranking for different ways of using other organisms. You've already decided that meat, milk, and eggs are out (would milk and eggs be ethically OK if you kept the animals yourself and knew they were content?), but what are your goals as far as plants are concerned? Are you trying to keep from killing an individual plant that wouldn't otherwise have died yet? Is it OK to harvest leaves as long as the plant isn't killed? If you plant onions and garlic, for example, would it be OK to trim the tops even if you don't dig up the bulbs?
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I was a fruitarian for one week only. I became a vegan more than 14 years ago. I don't have the space for a garden where I live. When I was a fruitarian, I put the seeds into the organic bin which got collected and composted. To keep my ecological footprint low, I do my best to get locally grown vegan food. I asked a lab to genetically engineer me to be an autotroph but they said that was impossible with our current technology.

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #15

Post by nobspeople »

Compassionist wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:56 pm
nobspeople wrote: Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:42 am
Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am “Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.� – Albert Schweitzer, “Civilization and Ethics�, 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
So you tried it with fruits (for ethical reasons?) and it didn't work? So you went to vegetables to get what you needed. Does that make you unethical now?
Seems if you have an issue with plants and went to fruits, there must have been an ethical reason. And now that you can't just do fruits, you made an exception on your ethics for personal reasons?
Then how can you look down on others that don't share your POV (which is what you're doing here)?
NOTE: I've cut back on meat and in 2021 I'm making the jump to vegetarian for my own personal reasons, and wish others would do the same.
I am not looking down on anyone. All biological organisms behave according to their genes, environments, nutrients and experiences. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of a lion, I would behave like that lion. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of Ted Bundy, I would behave like Ted Bundy. For most of my life so far, I was an omnivore. I became a vegan over 14 years ago because I met two vegans who told me that it is possible to live without eating other sentient organisms or consuming eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

I long to make the world free from all suffering, unfairness and deaths, but I lack the power to do so. My biggest regret is that I am not all-powerful. If I were all-powerful, I would have gone back in time and prevented all suffering, unfairness and deaths. If I were all-powerful, I would have made all living things equally all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful and the owner of an infinite number of universes each. If I were all-powerful, all beings would be forever happy. As things stand now, all sentient biological organisms are doomed to suffer and die. No one is going to save us from suffering, unfairness, and deaths. I want to save and improve all lives, but I don't have the power to do so. I am so sad because of all the suffering, unfairness and deaths. I have postponed some deaths and improved some lives but that's not enough. If God is truly real and good, why didn't God prevent all suffering, unfairness and deaths? I think God is either evil and imaginary or evil and real. I can't decide which, so, I am agnostic regarding the existence and nature of God.
Well, the common retort about "why God doesn't prevent..." usually revolves around 'It's not his fault, it's our fault because we've sinned blah blah blah'.
Some are content to believe in this, while others aren't. I guess it's up to the individual.
I agree with your last God comments in theory.
I've found nature is nature and doesn't adhere to any human construct of emotion. And while it's hard, at times, to watch nature and feel bad for certain creatures, we must understand that's how nature works. While we are part of nature, to me, we aren't nature as we have the ability to live our lives going against the way nature usually moves (being a vegan, for example).
For me, I'm making the move to vegetarian for 2021 for similar issues as seen in this thread.

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #16

Post by Compassionist »

nobspeople wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:02 am
Compassionist wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:56 pm
nobspeople wrote: Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:42 am
Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am “Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.� – Albert Schweitzer, “Civilization and Ethics�, 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
So you tried it with fruits (for ethical reasons?) and it didn't work? So you went to vegetables to get what you needed. Does that make you unethical now?
Seems if you have an issue with plants and went to fruits, there must have been an ethical reason. And now that you can't just do fruits, you made an exception on your ethics for personal reasons?
Then how can you look down on others that don't share your POV (which is what you're doing here)?
NOTE: I've cut back on meat and in 2021 I'm making the jump to vegetarian for my own personal reasons, and wish others would do the same.
I am not looking down on anyone. All biological organisms behave according to their genes, environments, nutrients and experiences. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of a lion, I would behave like that lion. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of Ted Bundy, I would behave like Ted Bundy. For most of my life so far, I was an omnivore. I became a vegan over 14 years ago because I met two vegans who told me that it is possible to live without eating other sentient organisms or consuming eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

I long to make the world free from all suffering, unfairness and deaths, but I lack the power to do so. My biggest regret is that I am not all-powerful. If I were all-powerful, I would have gone back in time and prevented all suffering, unfairness and deaths. If I were all-powerful, I would have made all living things equally all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful and the owner of an infinite number of universes each. If I were all-powerful, all beings would be forever happy. As things stand now, all sentient biological organisms are doomed to suffer and die. No one is going to save us from suffering, unfairness, and deaths. I want to save and improve all lives, but I don't have the power to do so. I am so sad because of all the suffering, unfairness and deaths. I have postponed some deaths and improved some lives but that's not enough. If God is truly real and good, why didn't God prevent all suffering, unfairness and deaths? I think God is either evil and imaginary or evil and real. I can't decide which, so, I am agnostic regarding the existence and nature of God.
Well, the common retort about "why God doesn't prevent..." usually revolves around 'It's not his fault, it's our fault because we've sinned blah blah blah'.
Some are content to believe in this, while others aren't. I guess it's up to the individual.
I agree with your last God comments in theory.
I've found nature is nature and doesn't adhere to any human construct of emotion. And while it's hard, at times, to watch nature and feel bad for certain creatures, we must understand that's how nature works. While we are part of nature, to me, we aren't nature as we have the ability to live our lives going against the way nature usually moves (being a vegan, for example).
For me, I'm making the move to vegetarian for 2021 for similar issues as seen in this thread.
I agree. It's great that you are becoming vegetarian.

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Re: The Ethics of Life

Post #17

Post by nobspeople »

Compassionist wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:33 pm
nobspeople wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:02 am
Compassionist wrote: Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:56 pm
nobspeople wrote: Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:42 am
Compassionist wrote: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:40 am “Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.� – Albert Schweitzer, “Civilization and Ethics�, 1949.

I totally agree with the above. It makes me so sad that we live in an evil world where the evil ones (carnivores and omnivores) prosper and the innocent ones (herbivores and autotrophs) perish. Although, some would argue that even herbivores are evil as they consume plants. Plants are not sentient but they are alive. Although, consuming fruits does not harm the plants as fruits are grown by the plants for consumption by birds and animals. I tried being a fruitarian but it was impossible to get all the nutrients from fruits alone so I became a vegan. I am so sad that an estimated 79% of the humans currently alive are omnivores, 20% are vegetarians and only 1% are vegans. We should all be pacifist vegans and live ethically. How can we persuade everyone to become a pacifist vegan?
So you tried it with fruits (for ethical reasons?) and it didn't work? So you went to vegetables to get what you needed. Does that make you unethical now?
Seems if you have an issue with plants and went to fruits, there must have been an ethical reason. And now that you can't just do fruits, you made an exception on your ethics for personal reasons?
Then how can you look down on others that don't share your POV (which is what you're doing here)?
NOTE: I've cut back on meat and in 2021 I'm making the jump to vegetarian for my own personal reasons, and wish others would do the same.
I am not looking down on anyone. All biological organisms behave according to their genes, environments, nutrients and experiences. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of a lion, I would behave like that lion. If I had the genes, environments, nutrients and experiences of Ted Bundy, I would behave like Ted Bundy. For most of my life so far, I was an omnivore. I became a vegan over 14 years ago because I met two vegans who told me that it is possible to live without eating other sentient organisms or consuming eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

I long to make the world free from all suffering, unfairness and deaths, but I lack the power to do so. My biggest regret is that I am not all-powerful. If I were all-powerful, I would have gone back in time and prevented all suffering, unfairness and deaths. If I were all-powerful, I would have made all living things equally all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful and the owner of an infinite number of universes each. If I were all-powerful, all beings would be forever happy. As things stand now, all sentient biological organisms are doomed to suffer and die. No one is going to save us from suffering, unfairness, and deaths. I want to save and improve all lives, but I don't have the power to do so. I am so sad because of all the suffering, unfairness and deaths. I have postponed some deaths and improved some lives but that's not enough. If God is truly real and good, why didn't God prevent all suffering, unfairness and deaths? I think God is either evil and imaginary or evil and real. I can't decide which, so, I am agnostic regarding the existence and nature of God.
Well, the common retort about "why God doesn't prevent..." usually revolves around 'It's not his fault, it's our fault because we've sinned blah blah blah'.
Some are content to believe in this, while others aren't. I guess it's up to the individual.
I agree with your last God comments in theory.
I've found nature is nature and doesn't adhere to any human construct of emotion. And while it's hard, at times, to watch nature and feel bad for certain creatures, we must understand that's how nature works. While we are part of nature, to me, we aren't nature as we have the ability to live our lives going against the way nature usually moves (being a vegan, for example).
For me, I'm making the move to vegetarian for 2021 for similar issues as seen in this thread.
I agree. It's great that you are becoming vegetarian.
I've been mostly meat free for a while now. I haven't cared for pork for some time now and for beef, I've only been eating once every few months. I can't do dairy due to IG issues and I only like certain types of fish so it shouldn't be as difficult to go vegetarian than it would be for others.

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