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Japanese Bug Fights
January 5, 2008 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Rule No. 1: Two bugs to a fight. Rule No. 2: Bug fights go on as long as they have to. Rule No. 3: No outside weapons in bug fights.
posted by Cool Papa Bell (185 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
i thought rule #1 was, you don't talk about bug fights.
posted by bruce at 9:25 PM on January 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


That really wasn't a very fair fight. It's hard to see just what a scorpion could do to a big beetle like that. Its claws are useless and its stinger is no better.

It's obvious that the two of them saw it that way, because the beetle was hunting the scorpion and the scorpion was trying to get away.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:25 PM on January 5, 2008


Stupid as it can be
posted by zouhair at 9:29 PM on January 5, 2008


Rule number three: As long as we aren't the ones who die, it's entertainment.

Hey, why don't we link to some crush videos as well. If animals are going to be in pain, I might as well masturbate to it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:33 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now I know what to answer when someone asks me, "What is the opposite of cuteoverload?"
posted by drdanger at 9:36 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


jesus. the praying mantis vs. the wasp was especially intense.

i liked the tarantula vs. big stick insect thing. the tarantula just sat on the other guy.


i don't know about the ethics of this, but i find this entertaining.
posted by Muffpub at 9:39 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


One day I will wake up, and where I will be will be somewhere where cruelty is understood to include creatures that are other than human.
posted by humannaire at 9:43 PM on January 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


WTF??? I think its retarded!
posted by petersn1 at 9:44 PM on January 5, 2008


To add to the shocking barbarity of "underground" insect fighting, the vanquished combatants are summarily dispatched, with methods that include incineration with burning WD-40 spray, firecrackers, magnifying glasses, or molten polyethylene from burning Hot Wheels track.
posted by Tube at 10:00 PM on January 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


These are pretty gross and I don't find it entertaining in the slightest. If these fights were captured out in the wild and not forced, then I would be able to watch them without apprehension. I don't think forcing death upon living creatures as "entertaining." Now, if we replace the bugs with retarded children with sharp objects, now THAT'S entertainment!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:02 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like a Japanese monster movie, but with real monsters. They should get some little cars and houses and set them up around the fighting bugs. Maybe throw in some spooky 60s music too.
posted by Skygazer at 10:04 PM on January 5, 2008


Must..... resist.... urge..... no.... need..... for.... MetaTalk Callout.

AstroZombie, I could have lived a complete and satisfied life without learning that such a genre existed....
still a big fan though

posted by crazyray at 10:05 PM on January 5, 2008


...of AstroZombie's that is, not of the genre or this FPP!
posted by crazyray at 10:07 PM on January 5, 2008


Toy soldiers would look awesome. Maybe set them on fire. (The toy solders, not the bugs).
posted by Skygazer at 10:07 PM on January 5, 2008


And some cheap special effects, too. It'd be awesome.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 PM on January 5, 2008


I would support this if the owners of the losers and anyone betting against the winners were subsequently ground up and fed to the winners.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:11 PM on January 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Nasty. This is no different from cock fighting, dog fighting or any other forced blood sport.

Certainly not entertainment. In fact, I'd go as far as to say the people running that site are primitive wankers and belong in a bygone age.
posted by Brockles at 10:17 PM on January 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Didn't the author of this site post to AskMe a few days ago, asking how to improve his site in order to drive more traffic to it? I'd dig up the question if there was an easy way of finding it... the question certainly didn't last long.
posted by xil at 10:18 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I'm really glad that I can come here and see other posters comment to the effect that this is cruel even if it's "just bugs." I likes me some bugs. Sometimes, in the wild, bugs have to fight. Watching that can be incredible. But watching two captive creatures being forced to fight in some shoddy plastic pen, that's just pathetic.
posted by lekvar at 10:20 PM on January 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'd just like to clarify that I appreciate the link, CPB. I just can't appreciate the content.
posted by lekvar at 10:27 PM on January 5, 2008


jesus. the praying mantis vs. the wasp was especially intense.

I am going to have seriously whack dreams. That wasp is evil. They should've given the praying mantis a switchblade or somethin...
posted by Skygazer at 10:27 PM on January 5, 2008


Yeah, Astro Zombie, I really didn't need to know that some people get off on watching someone step on rats.
posted by papakwanz at 10:29 PM on January 5, 2008


Didn't the author of this site post to AskMe a few days ago, asking how to improve his site in order to drive more traffic to it?

Yep: "Seriously, what is it about my new site JapaneseBugFights.com that people (reddit.com, digg.com) don't like? Any webpage critics out there wanna help?"
posted by smackfu at 10:31 PM on January 5, 2008


I am no lover of bugs, but this is somewhat unsettling to watch, and I say that as a big fan of boxing and UFC (does that make me a hypocrite? I have no idea). I will say that if you can put aside your displeasure at seeing animals forced to kill each other for human pleasure, it is interesting to watch how the animals use their bodies in their fights & how their anatomies seem to predispose them to certain "styles" of combat. I guess I can see a little bit better now how the various animal style schools of kung fu came about.
posted by papakwanz at 10:40 PM on January 5, 2008


Cool Papa Bell, this is cooler than fuck.

This is cooler than ice cream, dry socks, and free porn combined.

You can even see the camera flashes from the people shooting stills in the background, just like those other little Internet movies.

This is clearly sidebar material, right up there with the ALL TIME GREATS like Brian Peppers, the Nutty Buddy, "Will it Blend", the Cadbury gorilla, and TruckNuts.

In the future, I'm hoping to see microscopic battles, perhaps pitting Paramecium vs. E-coli.

Well done, sir, well done.
posted by Tube at 10:42 PM on January 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


smackfu: Interesting, I saw this on on del.icio.us popular 2 days ago and only shared it w/ my WoW guild. It belongs there more than here.
posted by mnology at 10:45 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


"If we do not fight, they will kill us both."
posted by Demogorgon at 10:47 PM on January 5, 2008


We have to fight them over there so they don't bring that shit over here.
posted by nola at 11:07 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I'd enjoy seeing the promoters tied up and put in a glass enclosure with a lot of these little critters. Payback. These people are just stupid.
posted by MetaMan at 11:23 PM on January 5, 2008


sorry, it's just bugs. Can't get all that worked up about it.

I thought it was cool.
posted by empath at 11:29 PM on January 5, 2008


WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE BUGS?
Unclench, people.

It wasn't that good. It wasn't that bad. Personally I'd have preferred it if they had left the bugs alone and let them live. But hey, in the grand scheme of things, I'd rather they use bugs than birds or mammals or fish or any other kingdom.

Vegetables are ok too.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:38 PM on January 5, 2008


That's disgusting.

I thought we'd come so much farther.
posted by Jenafeef at 11:42 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Unclench, people.

Oh, I'm not clenched. I just stopped burning ants with a magnifying glass when I was 5. My bad. I didn't realize that it never ceases being cool.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:48 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Cool man! I can't wait for the posts showing the "fun" of cock-fighting, dog-fighting, and bum-fights. Hey, could we see two starving Third-world children fighting over a crust of bread too?

Using up other creatures' lives for your amusement (no matter how "lowly" you think those creatures are) is simply barbaric.

It's one thing if those creatures naturally and without human intervention attack one another, or if there's some scientific knowledge to be gained. (I'm all for pithing frogs in science class. I'm not at all for pithing frogs to get your jollies.)

But engineering the fights just for amusement is disgusting and wasteful and offensive. Even if they aren't cuddly mammals.

This post shouldn't be here.
posted by orthogonality at 12:09 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bug fights are worse than Hitler.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 12:33 AM on January 6, 2008


In the future, I'm hoping to see microscopic battles, perhaps pitting Paramecium vs. E-coli.

I think that would actually be very cool to watch. You could also sell the exact same footage as microscopic bestiality porn, and no one would be able to call you on it.

Then again, I could watch a dinoflagellate spin in a circle for half an hour and be utterly absorbed. It's just a good thing my basic cable service doesn't carry The Pondwater Channel.
posted by phooky at 12:37 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


People who dismiss this and say "well at least it wasn't cuddly animals" or "it's only bugs" are missing the point. I think orthogonality summed it up pretty well. I like how people try to negate things by saying "well at least it's not [random extreme thing]." You can't devalue something just because it may be on the "lower" end on the spectrum of offensiveness and brutality.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 12:43 AM on January 6, 2008


This is pretty fucking disgusting.

I think there's only one solution for working this shit out of the human spirit - we are going to have to create a robomech arena.
posted by Ryvar at 12:58 AM on January 6, 2008


Now, if we replace the bugs with retarded children with sharp objects, now THAT'S entertainment!

Oooh! Oooh! Can we? Please?!!? TAARD STREEENGTH!
posted by sourwookie at 1:32 AM on January 6, 2008


Bug fights are worse than Hitler.

Really? As someone who has used plenty of pesticides and lost ancestors to The Holocaust I'd love to hear why.
posted by sourwookie at 1:34 AM on January 6, 2008


Well, aren't we all riled up today! Honestly, if people are going to watch animals fight, I would rather they pit bugs against one another than any other species. Bug fights do not seem all that barbaric; I mean, dogs at least have sad eyes and feelings and make pathetic whimpers when hurt. This is far from my favorite FPP, but I am even farther from up in arms over it.
posted by KingoftheWhales at 1:56 AM on January 6, 2008


sorry, it's just bugs. Can't get all that worked up about it.

posted by empath


Eponysterical.
posted by bakerybob at 2:10 AM on January 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


I mean, it's only waterboarding, it's not like it's the rack or the iron maiden!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:27 AM on January 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


The site user's account has been suspended.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:44 AM on January 6, 2008


God help me for asking this, because somebody will think I'm just snarking or something, but I swear I am 100% sincerely curious about this: for those who find this barbaric (orthogonality, MaryDellamorte, anyone else), what are your personal criteria for choosing what kinds of living things are okay to "use", and for what purposes? Using bugs for entertainment = bad, clearly, but what about using bugs to feed a pet? Using bacteria to make cheese? Using bacteria for entertainment (if such a thing is possible)? Where do you personally feel that the lines should be drawn?

(Again, I'm not snarking, or trying to defend the bug-fighting or anything. I'm really genuinely curious--your position is different from mine and I would like to understand it.)
posted by equalpants at 4:47 AM on January 6, 2008


Equalpants, I don't think it's a matter of "using bugs for entertainment" that's upsetting people; it's "ending life for entertainment."
posted by kimota at 5:03 AM on January 6, 2008


WTF??? I think its retarded!

Your sensitivity is dually noted.
posted by hal9k at 5:05 AM on January 6, 2008


Equalpants, I don't think it's a matter of "using bugs for entertainment" that's upsetting people; it's "ending life for entertainment."

Yes, I understand that. My question is where the lines are drawn. Ending bugs' lives for entertainment = bad. Ending bugs' lives for food = okay or bad? Ending bacteria lives for entertainment = okay or bad? I am curious about what criteria other people are using to judge these situations.
posted by equalpants at 5:14 AM on January 6, 2008


Michael Vick: The Exoskeletal Years
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:42 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Equalpants, killing bugs for food is not taking delight in their pain and death the way this is. Is there a substantial moral difference between the two? I don't know, but it certainly feels like there is.
posted by rottytooth at 6:11 AM on January 6, 2008


1. This is the most beanerific thread I have ever read in many many many years of reading MeFi.

2. Too bad the link is dead.

3. But seriously, this is well nigh the funniest thread I've ever read. So thanks for the yuks.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:30 AM on January 6, 2008


Equalpants, my take on it is do your best not to be an asshole.

All of us live in a society where we kill bugs all day long. Just driving from one place to another kills bugs. Lots. Most people eat meat. Even vegans eat food which, during its production and harvest, caused the death of some animals.

The best example I can think of at the moment is the boss who is forced to lay five people off and is sorry about it vs the boss who is forced to lay five people off and calls each one in to his office and takes glee from the humiliation of each person. It's the same thing in each case: five people lose their jobs. But I don't really want to know that second guy and I think the world would be better off without him.

So is killing a dozen bugs by driving to the supermarket any better than videotaping yourself killing a dozen bugs with a magnifying glass and getting off on it? Not in the grand scheme of things. But in my book the second guy is an asshole and I'll keep my fingers crossed for a comical, humiliating, and untimely death for him.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 6:44 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


This Account Has Been Suspended
Please contact the support department as soon as possible, and please have your site name ready.
posted by The Deej at 7:24 AM on January 6, 2008


Here's a piece from a recent Granta about Chinese cricket fighting. I read it recently without any sense that such an activity might be objectionable. I think some bug blood sports probably are acceptable given appropriate cultural context. (Disclaimer: FPPed site is borked, and I haven't seen how awful it is)
posted by roofus at 7:41 AM on January 6, 2008


Small, crunchy, gooey creatures have always been a love of mine, but I'm aware that there is necessary or forgivable killing of said creatures -- in the name of science, for food/in the food-making process, when they're an invasive species, when they're pestilent, when someone has an all-consuming true phobia (because I don't have any respect for fear stemming from ignorance), etc. However, tormenting or killing them for fun has always been beyond my understanding.

Insects and etc. don't have the capacity for suffering that more complex animals do. But it's not really about how much suffering such animals are capable of -- it's that some people are willing to subject these creatures to the highest levels of torment they can experience, for said people's own passing amusement. So, for me, it's more about the mindset of the people involved, than whether the suffering of common arthropods "counts" in any sense. The act of carelessly fucking with a basically helpless living thing (that had not, and probably wouldn't have ever caused harm to the tormenter) bothers me its needless destructiveness, thoughtlessness, and cruelty.
posted by Coatlicue at 8:00 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


i think some bug blood sports probably are acceptable given appropriate cultural context. in other words, it's ok for them but not for us. do you apply this ethic to female genital mutilation?

also, if a pest control worker really enjoys his job, does that make him a genoinsecticidal sadist? what if he takes bugs home from his job that were doomed to die anyway and pits them against each other in aquarium fights? is it worse if there is wagering on these fights? is it any better if he donates the house vigorish from the wagering to peta?
posted by bruce at 8:03 AM on January 6, 2008


Bug fights are a gateway to crueler sports. I'm sure it all leads to torturing social outcasts in the desert.
posted by RussHy at 8:08 AM on January 6, 2008


we are going to have to create a robomech arena.
posted by Ryvar



Yes. Yes. Do it. Yes.
posted by papakwanz at 8:35 AM on January 6, 2008


Hermit Crab Races
One hermit crab per participant. A plastic beach table, without the umbrella in the middle, such that there is a little hole in the centre. Select crabs whose shells are not wider than the diameter of the central hole.
The crabs start near the outer edge. Hands are used to block the crabs from leaving the playing field via the outer edge. The winner is the player whose crab escapes to freedom via the central hole first.
Wagering is optional. Cheering on your crab with shouts of "Come on you little bugger! Go! Go!" is encouraged. Naming your crab, and heavy drinking, is mandatory. Please put your crabs back on the beach when you are done.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:48 AM on January 6, 2008


Bug fights are worse than Hitler.

Wow. It's like Godwin week here on the Mefi.
posted by humannaire at 8:51 AM on January 6, 2008


Argh, I'm with equalpants on this one. I concede the logic behind the argument that it's cruel as being valid due to its parallel in conventional cruelty to animals. But the thing that makes it a precarious moral position to take is that we're willing to kill bugs to fulfill almost any conceivable human purpose unless we're top-notch Buddhist monks. If you and a bunch of friends go see a movie, taking your car and splatting a bunch of bugs on the windshield in the course, does that constitute killing bugs for entertainment?

If you argue that it's not the same thing because the bugfights are the purpose of the entertainment whereas the windshield fodder is accidental even though it's intentional, you're actually re-enacting the reasoning that is used to justify killing other humans in self-defense and I don't think people are actually taking it that seriously.

It seems important due to the recent Karnovsky Affair and the charges leveled (by the people on the external sites) that MeFi is the Land of the Hypocritically Righteous.
posted by XMLicious at 9:08 AM on January 6, 2008


Look, any way you look at it, it's animal cruelty. The question is, do you think that cruelty is okay because we treat bugs as insignificant elsewhere?

We eat fish, but I don't pull goldfish out of the tank and fling them to the ground to enjoy their pained flopping. I would say where there is opportunity to be humane, there is cause to be humane; after all, its one of the few things that makes us better than beasts.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, at least the bug fights aren't in Texas.

I'm sad the video is down; I would have liked to have seen this, especially if someone could have edited in a mini-Tokyo in the background so it's like the latest Godzilla flick.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2008


I've got to say I can't muster up much sympathy for species that devour their own young, or in the case of the mantises, their mates.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:50 AM on January 6, 2008


I'm a hypocrite, for sure. And Bruce has a really good point with his remark about the pest control guy. By the reasoning I offered, we would demand that pest control guys all be miserable people who wrestle with their conscience every day. Which is stupid.

All I can say is that I think everyone just has to do his best to get by without being a jerk. I don't think these guys are doing that.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 9:52 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm. A long time dream of mine has been to get different animals from different parts of the world and fight them to the death. And I'm not talking lions vs. bears. I mean: 50 penguins vs. a crocodile.
posted by iamck at 10:08 AM on January 6, 2008


I think some bug blood sports probably are acceptable given appropriate cultural context.

If that cultural context is primitive barbarism, then you are quite correct. It would be appropriate to them, but only them.

Killing anything (animals and humans) for sport is wrong. Killing something in the pursuit of something else (ie your daily lives or for food) is different. It is the killing purely for the sport of watching them die that makes this indefensible. It serves no purpose other than to get your jollies. Killing for food perpetuates life - it is a natural process.

Driving to the cinema is not at all comparable to televised bug fights. Just as much as an elephant stepping on an ant while having sex is not killing it in the pursuit of enjoyment of the killing of the animal. It's just collateral damage of one being living its life.
posted by Brockles at 10:47 AM on January 6, 2008


The videos definitely satisified a "which will win" adolescent curiousity, but i was surprised at the slight queasy discomfort, especially at the end of Battle #30, when the scorpion underwent his/her death throes in the jaws of whatever that beetle was. And yet I watched on in fascination, just like watching a video from Iraq on youtube.
posted by ba3r at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2008


The site user's account has been suspended.

*Alas*

Like legal LSD, it was simply too cool to last...
posted by Tube at 11:23 AM on January 6, 2008


Bob: ... an elephant stepping on an ant while having sex is not killing it in the pursuit of enjoyment of the killing of the animal. It's just collateral damage of one being living its life.

Charlotte: ...okay
posted by From Bklyn at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2008


Astro Zombie: Oh, I'm not clenched. I just stopped burning ants with a magnifying glass when I was 5. My bad. I didn't realize that it never ceases being cool.

Heh, because that's exactly what I said.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:35 AM on January 6, 2008


I've got to say I can't muster up much sympathy for species that devour their own young, or in the case of the mantises, their mates.
posted by bashos_frog


Or in the case of humans, the working classes.
posted by papakwanz at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


equalpants writes "but what about using bugs to feed a pet? Using bacteria to make cheese? Using bacteria for entertainment"

Me personally? It's an issue of wastefulnesss and lack of appreciation. A "lowly" bug is a complex piece of machinery, "designed" by evolution for a purpose. When people fail to appreciate that, and waste it in stupidity, I'm disappointed and annoyed. If, on the other hand, that perfection is destroyed to make food, I'm OK with that, because the whole carnivorous system is based on that. One engine of perfection is being dismantled so another can continue.

Bacteria for entertainment? Yeah, like phooky, I'd watch the Pondwater Channel. Killing bacteria to demonstrate the evolution of bacterial resistance? Sure. To make art or food? Yeah, OK. Just to be an ass? Not so much.
posted by orthogonality at 12:33 PM on January 6, 2008


Cheese: Engines of perfection.

(But seriously, you make a great point.)
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:54 PM on January 6, 2008


Cheeses love you, CF12.

Killing anything (animals and humans) for sport is wrong.

So the years when Edmonton was literally covered in caterpillars, it was wrong of me to walk down the sidewalk stepping on them? I mean, sure, it was literally impossible to avoid stepping on a lot of caterpillars, but I did also sometimes make an effort to stretch or shorten my step so that I'd get more than I would with a normal stride.

What about the bug-zapper? Was it wrong to leave it on even when we weren't on the back patio knocking back a brewski?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:28 PM on January 6, 2008


Killing anything (animals and humans) for sport is wrong.

So the years when Edmonton was literally covered in caterpillars, it was wrong of me to walk down the sidewalk stepping on them? I mean, sure, it was literally impossible to avoid stepping on a lot of caterpillars, but I did also sometimes make an effort to stretch or shorten my step so that I'd get more than I would with a normal stride.


I fail to see any link between that sentence and your example. At all.

Did you step on the caterpillars for sport? You said you couldn't avoid stepping in them, not that you deliberately went out and ran up and down videoing it and laughing. The basic concept that you couldn't avoid it kind of erases the larger issue. If you started to enjoy modifying your stride and killing more and found it funny, then yes, you had started to blur the line.

But I suspect you already knew that.
posted by Brockles at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2008


Killing anything (animals and humans) for sport is wrong.

So the years when Edmonton was literally covered in caterpillars, it was wrong of me to walk down the sidewalk stepping on them? I mean, sure, it was literally impossible to avoid stepping on a lot of caterpillars, but I did also sometimes make an effort to stretch or shorten my step so that I'd get more than I would with a normal stride.


I fail to see any link between that sentence and your example. At all.

Did you step on the caterpillars for sport? You said you couldn't avoid stepping in them, not that you deliberately went out and ran up and down videoing it and laughing. The basic concept that you couldn't avoid it kind of erases the larger issue. If you started to enjoy modifying your stride and killing more and found it funny, then yes, you had started to blur the line.

But I suspect you already knew that.
posted by Brockles at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2008


Ooops. Not sure where the double came from. It signifies no attempt at increases emphasis...
posted by Brockles at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2008


Did you step on the caterpillars for sport?

I quote myself:
I did also sometimes make an effort to stretch or shorten my step so that I'd get more than I would with a normal stride.
Yes. I would sometimes stomp on the little buggers maliciously and with deliberate intent of killing more and more of them. If one's going to have one caterpillar pop under one's foot, it might as well be a dozen.

I'm gonna go to hell and have people wish I were dead, because I took a little perverse joy in mass-stomping during a caterpillar blight. Damn.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:14 PM on January 6, 2008


i think i used up all my favorites for the day favoriting everything Astro Zombie posted.

thanks, zombie.

thombie.

posted by jtron at 2:51 PM on January 6, 2008


Also, now I need to google "Edmonton caterpillar" to see if there's any pictures around of streets covered in writhing multileggedness, possibly with a fishy leaper bounding around Mario-style.
posted by jtron at 2:53 PM on January 6, 2008


Thank you, jtron. I have now achieved my goal of having more favorites than posts and comments, and can unburden myself of my carefully constructed, favorite-seeking persona and reveal the true Astro Zombie hidden beneath.

VOTE RON PAUL!
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:06 PM on January 6, 2008


Ron Paul vs. Lyndon LaRouche in a Japanese Insect Cage Match: Who would win?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:09 PM on January 6, 2008


I have now achieved my goal of having more favorites than posts and comments

Pfft. Amateur. I've had that most of the time I've been here. And I'm an arsehole. See what you've done to yourself?

Won't you think of the children!
posted by Brockles at 3:14 PM on January 6, 2008


You're going to compare your measly three hundred favorites to my nearly four thousand?

I applaud your spunk. But you are a eyelash mite who has chosen to battle a giant desert hairy scorpion. The battle will be swift and humiliating.

Gosh, I wish there was some way we could actually see what such a fight might look like.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2008


Oh my God, it's not even three hundred! It's half of that!

Did you ever hear the story of the guy who bet Milton Berle that he had a larger penis than the comedian? Well, the guy opens his pants and produces this monstrous schlong. Berle looks at it, unimpressed, and begins to open his fly.

At that moment, one of his friends cries out "Just show him enough to win!"
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:26 PM on January 6, 2008


Heh.

I thought the comment related to purely ratio? Well, shucks, for my relatively short time here, I thought I held my end up well by comparison (so to speak. Particularly after your example). Looks like I'll have to cancel my social life for the next two years so I can catch up on the many lonely hours you must have spent racking up such a huge quantity of posts.

Now, where did I put Hef's number? He was looking forward to seeing me tonight, too, I heard.
posted by Brockles at 3:48 PM on January 6, 2008


Tell him to give Bubbles my love. He'll know what I mean.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:58 PM on January 6, 2008


Wait. Isn't that Michael? I've not been near his house since that odd 'incident' and the time that Uri stopped taking my calls.

That'll teach him to keep his hands to himself.
posted by Brockles at 4:02 PM on January 6, 2008


I really don't see why everybody here is in full animal cruelty mode. Cockfighting and dogfighting involves taking animals that would not naturally tear each other to pieces and evoking them to do so by means of starvation and other such torturous tactics. This is just bugs fighting. Bugs fight other bugs. It happens millions of times a day. Dogs are not regularly butchering each other in the streets. The bugs are simply placed in the vicinity of one another and they fight. Compare this to the prison system; certainly if you do the same thing to humans it is far less humane?
posted by tehloki at 4:45 PM on January 6, 2008


The difference is that I would pay to see vicious criminals bet each other up. In fact, I do, as I am a patron of boxing.

I kid! I love the sweet science!
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:02 PM on January 6, 2008


tehloki: Er. What planet do you come from where dog's don't naturally fight? I can cite, as examples, some pretty damn hefty vet bills from my girlfriend recently that directly refute that from patching up just such an incident. And that was from two dogs living in the same house...

Dog's naturally fight each other. Always have and always will. Not to the death, usually, but that is because either we drag them off, or they get to the point when they'd rather run away than continuing to fight.

Cockerels naturally fight each other. It's part of their process of ensuring that they mate. It's generally only to the death (like the dogs) when the one that works out it's losing can't run away (what with all the men with money in their hands blocking the way). The extremes of the fight (only one survives) is the aspect that is man made (although not always - some natural mating ritual fights are to the death).

The bugs in this instance were in a 12" square perspex cage. They were pushed into an unnatural situation - an extreme proximity to other, aggressive, species. They had no choice but to fight. When, in any natural situation, one would have run away at the first sign of aggression, the unnatural situation (created by the people involved for the sport of watching them fight) prevented this more natural resolution. The only alternative to dying was to fight. In one particular example, the Scorpion was constantly trying to climb up the side of the cage away from the spider. Only the slipperiness of the surface prevented it from running away. It only fought as it had no choice.

All the situations are exaggerated examples of nature - from selective breeding of dogs and cockerels, to selection of aggressive insect species that wouldn't necessarily meet - and the placing of them in an artificial environment where they had no alternative but to fight to ensure their own survival. Purely for the entertainment of those watching.

Like some people have said - it would be interesting to see which species is tougher, if they had met naturally, but they didn't. This was blood sports. Pure and simple. Forcing an animal (no matter how small, or down the cognitive thought scale) to fight and die for entertainment is wrong. Just as wrong as if they were human. I'm shocked that you can't instantly see that.
posted by Brockles at 5:39 PM on January 6, 2008


I applaud your spunk.

Y'know, that always brings nasty mental imagery to my mind. Some sort of cross between bukkake and formal evening dress, as if one were at the opera. (And what an opera that would be. I think I'll give it a pass; anyone want my ticket?)
posted by five fresh fish at 6:06 PM on January 6, 2008


Some sort of cross between bukkake and formal evening dress

Well, this was fun. My, look at the time.
posted by odinsdream at 7:25 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bugkake, maybe? Speaking of beetle juice...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:58 PM on January 6, 2008


wow. that was fascinating and terribly hard to watch. i gots the jibblies.

i like that they advertise for bedbug-safe encasements. genius marketing, that is.
posted by es_de_bah at 8:31 PM on January 6, 2008


I found the whole concept of bug-fighting distasteful, but what really made me quit watching was the incredible squick factor. That damn millipede is almost as bad a a spider. Freakin' legs hard-scrabbling pointy ickyick.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:35 PM on January 6, 2008


One day I will wake up, and where I will be will be somewhere where cruelty is understood to include creatures that are other than human.

You need to look no further than Hollywood. You know the "No animals were harmed..." statement you see in the end credits of films? That's issued by the American Humane Association's Film and Television Unit. From a New Yorker article [reg req.] about the organization:

...Only cats that like dogs should be cast in cat-and-dog movies. No individual fish can do more than three takes in a day. Also, under no circumstances can a nonhuman cast member be squished. This rule applies to all nonhuman things, including cockroaches. Karen Rosa, the director of American Humane's Film and Television Unit, was discussing this particular guideline one day last summer. "If you show up on set with twenty-five thousand cockroaches, you better leave with twenty-five thousand cockroaches," she said. I wondered if she extended the same welcome to cockroaches at home. "A cockroach in my kitchen is one thing," Rosa said. "A cockroach in a movie is an actor. Like any other actor, it deserves to go home at the end of the day."

If only these creepy-crawlies had gotten their SAG cards.
posted by horsewithnoname at 10:20 PM on January 6, 2008


Hi there. I honestly didn't expect hue and cry over cruelty. Mea culpa for the offended.

However, just this evening, I caught the latest episode of Iron Chef America, featuring two widely respected chefs, Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali. This was "Battle Cobia," where this particular fish was the secret ingredient.

The fish were live when they were unveiled as the theme for the competition. The two chefs scooped them out of their tank and promptly filleted them for the cameras and the judges.

Now, you can obviously make a contrast here -- the fish weren't goaded into fighting each other, and at least a few lucky people got an honest meal out of the process. But it's hard to say that animals slaughtered for this cooking show, or any cooking show for that matter, aren't being killed for entertainment purposes. And is gourmet cooking itself not artistry and entertainment, on some level?

So, be offended and call me a dick for making the post. It's a free country and you paid your five bucks. But if you fail to recognize that there are multiple fine lines at work here ... well, I can't help you.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:49 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Using the presence of other, notable fine lines (including the preparation of food) to step firmly, and with both feet well over the line and try and compare that to forcing two animals to fight is tenuous justification at best. The fact that the fish was alive and was killed for food on tv was coincidental to the entertainment. It was not the sole purpose of the entertainment. Killing and eating food is a fact of life.

So, yes. You're a dick. Even more so for using that example to attempt to justify it.
posted by Brockles at 4:51 AM on January 7, 2008


So, be offended and call me a dick for making the post. It's a free country and you paid your five bucks. But if you fail to recognize that there are multiple fine lines at work here ... well, I can't help you.

Wow. Dick, indeed!
posted by humannaire at 6:05 AM on January 7, 2008


It'll be interesting to see how this argument changes when we get the first robots that are complex and functionally similar to an insect.

And then to see how it changes again when we get the first cuddly, furry robots.
posted by BaxterG4 at 8:32 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


BaxterG4, we may already be there. There have been reports of bomb squads in Iraq becoming attached to their bomb-disposal robots and becoming agitated when they (the robots) got damaged. Once you name a thing you imbue it with a part of yourself.
posted by lekvar at 11:49 AM on January 7, 2008


Do bugs feel pain? I don't know. My knowledge of bug anatomy is limited to bees, who have some similar systems to ours, e.g. a digestive tract, but what's there is so rudimentary that you can't draw parallels. It's a difficult argument to claim that what we call the feeling of pain is shared by insects. You're only going to get so far as stimulus response. What's dramatic about these clips is that the insect's response to a stimulus involving danger, e.g. the sight of an approaching insectoid enemy, is identical to our response in the face of a threat--it tries everything it can to get away from it, or it tries to do away with the threat. Fight or flight. For this it doesn't need a sophisticated pain system, or perhaps any at all. And that's something I think we can sympathize with, and I think that's what's sitting under the condemnations of this website voiced upthread.

Now, what is our sympathy for a bug worth? Not much. With that, I'll leave you at the doorstep of double-effect.
posted by Nahum Tate at 1:59 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hope no one was calling you a dick for making the FPP, Cool Papa Bell. If they are, they are in the wrong.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:22 PM on January 7, 2008


"It's a free country."
posted by humannaire at 6:00 PM on January 7, 2008


First of all, us humans beat the shit out of each other every day, for which we pay huge amounts of money to watch, so it can't be the actaul fighting between two living things that people are upset about. I.E. if the bugs were assured to live, that would be okay? Secondly, nearly every Person can't go a single day without killing an insect of some kind, and few would hesitate to stop a scorpion in one ever crossed their path, most of the time intentialy, so it can't be the actaully killing of the bugs that is the problem. Soooo, what's the problem? I believe it is only that people are not used to seeing these insects from such a close perspective. If we could get close enough to personalize the lives of bacteria, I assume there would soon follow an out cry against antibiotics??
posted by Benzle at 6:45 PM on January 7, 2008


Soooo, what's the problem?

Geez. Is it really that hard to understand how forcing two animals into a situation where they have no choice but to fight for the death in unnatural circumstances purely for personal entertainment is wrong?

What the fuck is wrong with you people? Not agreeing is one thing (but obviously wrong), but not getting it?
posted by Brockles at 6:56 PM on January 7, 2008


IMHO, the fact that bugs were killed is not the issue. There's nothing wrong with smacking mosquitoes.

Taking pleasure in the deaths of bugs is not the issue. Lots of us here regularly arrange for animals to be killed, often under inhumane conditions, so that we can enjoy the sweet taste of their innards. Hunting for food and pleasure seems rather more moral than getting factory farmed meat from the supermarket.

The problem with watching bug fights is the creeping fear that your enjoyment comes from sadism. I don't think I'd want to spend time around someone who watched a lot of this sort of thing.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:53 PM on January 7, 2008


Honestly, I would prefer that the bugs would not be allowed to kill each other. Watching them fight evokes no "sadist" pleasure in me, as I am of the opinion that insects have a negligible capacity to feel or understand pain. I just enjoy watching two organisms which have adapted to distinctly different forms of combat have a contest of skills. It is no better or worse than watching boxing, except for the fact that the intelligences involved are so small that the fight cannot help being fatal. I am just not grasping this sudden massive surge of sympathy for insects. Surely if you think this is inhumane, you would think an insect's life to be valuable enough to fail to squash that mosquito, to fail to leave out a bug zapper, a roach motel?
posted by tehloki at 10:04 PM on January 7, 2008


It is no better or worse than watching boxing, except for the fact that the intelligences involved are so small that the fight cannot help being fatal.

Last time I checked, boxers chose to be in the fight. No one forced them into a plexi glass container and made them fight.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:08 PM on January 7, 2008


I wouldn't want to try to force a boxer into a Plexiglas container.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:42 PM on January 7, 2008


I would argue that the boxer's situation is more depraved; they are causing harm to each other knowingly and almost solely for the sake of the entertainment of others. The insects are simply fighting each other out of instinct.
posted by tehloki at 6:34 AM on January 8, 2008


But still not by choice, and still having to against their natural instincts - which is to run away as was patently obvious in some of the videos.

Insects may fight naturally, but I'd wager that very, very few of those examples would have resulted in the death in the natural world. Just in one of them making for the hills pretty damned sharpish.

The boxers situation isn't depraved - it's a choice you don't agree with. These insects had no choice, or alternative. It was kill or be killed, and they wouldn't have been in this situation (for the most part) naturally. A lot of the animals don't even naturally occur in the same parts of the world.
posted by Brockles at 6:42 AM on January 8, 2008


Besides, don't compare it to boxing as it's not at all comparable. Compare it to (a harsher and more realistic version of) the film Gladiator. Or are you going to tell me that there is nothing wrong with enslaving humans to fight to the death for your personal amusement?
posted by Brockles at 6:44 AM on January 8, 2008


The thing is, this situation isn't equivalent to Gladiator alone, it's equivalent to saying "gladiatorial combat is so much worse than all of the other ways that Romans exploited and killed slaves, which were less depraved and more humane."
posted by XMLicious at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2008


Guff.

Both are forced combat to the death for personal amusement with no chance of escape or avoidance. The disapproval is aimed solely and squarely at the site and its premise, not judging insects or their other interactions as a whole. Killing animals for pleasure (however it is done) is wrong.

Extrapolating the rest of the treatment of insects in the world as a means of justifying this is rubbish. None of the rest of the aspects of insect life or treatment is relevant. Next thing you'll be saying that the Scorpion was a bit ugly and so deserved to die more than the slightly prettier stag beetle.
posted by Brockles at 4:22 PM on January 8, 2008


Extrapolating the rest of the treatment of insects in the world as a means of justifying this is rubbish.

I don't think you understand the argument that I'm making. I'm not trying to justify this. I'm saying that to vehemently condemn this while condoning by silence the other treatment of insects is so ridiculously hypocritical as to make the initial objection to bugfights cavilous.

Condemning bugfights doesn't cost you anything. But it's quite likely that you're participating in immoral treatment of insects in numerous ways every day. If you want to convince people that you really care about and take seriously the humane treatment of insects and you're not simply climbing up to the moral high ground to wave your arms and shout down at the rest of us for the sake of self-embiggenment you ought to also take a position on this issue that involves some kind of sacrifice on your part. Declare that you'll only eat organic food that doesn't use pesticides, not even organic pesticides, for example.
posted by XMLicious at 9:25 PM on January 8, 2008


Honestly I just don't think I can continue this discussion, as insect life just seems to be below my intrinsic mental threshhold for empathy. I could as easily argue for the sanctity of a bacterium, plankton, or skin cell.
posted by tehloki at 4:30 AM on January 9, 2008


I'm saying that to vehemently condemn this while condoning by silence the other treatment of insects is so ridiculously hypocritical as to make the initial objection to bugfights cavilous.

I disagree. I am objecting to this because forced combat of an animal for entertainment is wrong. Your point that 'well you do other bad things' is no more relevant to my argument than tehloki's 'I just don't care about bugs' version. Unless I kill for sport myself, then your position of my being hypocritical is ridiculous. You could argue that anyone who objects to this, yet hunts for foxes (say) would fall into that trap. But not someone with a clear and unambiguous point as mine. Perhaps you simply don't understand what I'm saying (see last paragraph).

The bugs themselves are largely irrelevant (or don't add/remove additional weight to the viewpoint), to the declaration that the site is inappropriate as the concept itself is sufficiently wrong (killing for entertainment) in its own right. It's a black and white example of a morally wrong practice. 'They're only bugs/you kill other bugs' is not relevant.

If you want to convince people that you really care about and take seriously the humane treatment of insects and you're not simply climbing up to the moral high ground to wave your arms and shout down at the rest of us for the sake of self-embiggenment you ought to also take a position on this issue that involves some kind of sacrifice on your part.

a: Bullshit. Seeing something as wrong doesn't mean that you have to analyse every possible connotation or associated action and be pure to the cause 100% to the point when it costs me something. I don't have to account and justify for every action in my life to have a genuine moral standpoint on killing for sport, and the concept of 'only sacrifice shows you mean it' is a primitive viewpoint. The two are not inextricably linked. Your argument makes every single vegetarian (and probably most vegans) hypocritical by the same argument if you expand the consequences fully - what if the truck bringing the vegetables to the store runs over a deer? Or a Rabbit? An animal died bringing the food - by your argument that removes any merit to their argument that eating killing animals to eat is wrong (I'm not vegetarian, for reference). You could even use the same exaggerated extrapolation to suggest that killing vegetables for food is as 'wrong' to them as it is to kill animals.

b: I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks of me about this. I can't stress that point enough. I DO give a fuck that this is really barbaric treatment of animals and the justifications that people are putting forward as to why it isn't range from misguided to pompous to irrelevant. I don't give a flying codpiece if anyone takes ME seriously as long as they don't dismiss the part that is the issue - neither of you (XML/Tehloki any other people tacitly approving of this) have done, really. Although I can see where Tehloki is coming from - some people don't care about Dolphins, some don't care about animals from other continents - his cut off point is lower than theirs, higher than mine. I just don't agree with him where the line needs to be drawn.

To clarify, it is not the treatment of bugs, per se, that I object to. That should be clear from my posts if they are read carefully. Killing for sport is wrong. That is the core of my objection. How about, if you want to disagree with me and call me hypocritical, you actually try and counter the part that I am objecting to?
posted by Brockles at 6:23 AM on January 9, 2008


You say "killing for sport is wrong" as if that is a fact.

Pray tell, what makes it a fact?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:01 AM on January 9, 2008


No, I'm presenting it as an emphatic opinion, and have opined (also in this thread) that it is only considered acceptable by barbaric cultures.

I have not said it is a fact.
posted by Brockles at 8:18 AM on January 9, 2008


I bet St. Augustine sat around having this same earnest conversation, trying to convince his roommates to quit going to the gladiators fight. "Jesus, Gus, give it a rest! They're just slaves, they don't even feel pain like we do!"
posted by RussHy at 11:35 AM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry, Brockles. I was responding specifically to this:
To clarify, it is not the treatment of bugs, per se, that I object to. That should be clear from my posts if they are read carefully. Killing for sport is wrong. That is the core of my objection. How about, if you want to disagree with me and call me hypocritical, you actually try and counter the part that I am objecting to?
I think I can see how I misinterpreted that.

Sport fishing. Catch and release = good. Catch and eat = good. Catch and mount: not good.

Interesting.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:29 PM on January 9, 2008


I am objecting to this because forced combat of an animal for entertainment is wrong.

Yeah, but why is it wrong? Is it wrong because the forced combat produces a level of suffering that is inhumane? Because of course that's the difference between this and the forced combat of robots for entertainment, right?

If that's your reasoning then you also have to also be able to deal with the level of suffering that poisoning an insect to death results in. Otherwise your argument has no basis and no one has motivation to take it seriously.
posted by XMLicious at 12:27 AM on January 10, 2008


Is it wrong because the forced combat produces a level of suffering that is inhumane?

I think this kind of hits a type of the same kind of thinking that made me have to drop that bloody tiger thread for my own sanity...

I don't feel the need, as it seems an awful lot of people do, to try and consider a situation by mentally transplanting a human into it to judge its severity. Direct analogy is a good starting point, but certainly shouldn't be the sole means by which we judge a situation.

Humane isn't good enough - once a winner was established, slamming a brick on the loser could pass as humane. But trying to consider the situation purely from a human perspective is blinkered, and produces things such as "Well, they don't feel pain like we do, so it's fine". Which is, to my mind, irrelevant. This isn't just about suffering so much - that just makes it worse. It's because (to my mind) if you are going to take a life, then you better have a good reason. Food is a good reason. Being unable to avoid doing so realistically is another (the caterpillar covered pavements/bugs on the windscreen) and it moves to edge cases in that area as to how much reasonable effort should be taken to avoid killing needlessly.

Example: When driving, I'll do everything I can to avoid a rabbit or bird in the road unless it endangers me - in which case bunny gets it
If there is a spider in my house that I don't want there - I'll put it outside. If it's a Black Widow, and I have no means of trapping it safely, I'll probably kill it. But in both examples, only if I have to.

I don't use pesticides, for reference.

So. The taking of a life should require justification. Not in a human sense (it was in my way), but in a 'balance' sense. Killing, as I say, for food is fine. Killing because it makes you laugh/smile/become amused is not.

Because of course that's the difference between this and the forced combat of robots for entertainment, right?

God, no. Not even close. It's because something dies. That's the difference, and I am stunned you can't immediately see that without me ending to point it out any further.
posted by Brockles at 5:21 AM on January 10, 2008


It's because something dies. That's the difference, and I am stunned you can't immediately see that without me ending to point it out any further.

Of course I can see it, as I said I follow and concur with the logic by which this can be declared wrong. Remember, I'm not saying it isn't wrong, I'm saying that being particularly offended by this as opposed to other instances of insect death is hypocritical or at least glaringly inconsistent. But if your objection to it is simply that something dies, and doesn't even particularly have to do with unusual suffering incurred through deathmatch combat, that makes it even more puzzling why you find all of the other instances in which insects die needlessly to fulfill human purposes unremarkable or unmoving.

If you're not willing to do something as minimal as eat organic food instead of food produced with pesticides to prevent insects from being poisoned to death, don't you see it's completely hypocritical to call out the bugfight ringmasters for causing the deaths of insects? (Particularly a drastically smaller number of insect deaths than spraying even a single field of crops would cause.)
posted by XMLicious at 6:15 AM on January 10, 2008


I'm saying that being particularly offended by this as opposed to other instances of insect death is hypocritical or at least glaringly inconsistent. But if your objection to it is simply that something dies, and doesn't even particularly have to do with unusual suffering incurred through deathmatch combat, that makes it even more puzzling why you find all of the other instances in which insects die needlessly to fulfill human purposes unremarkable or unmoving.

And at what point did any of my views of the treatment of insects ever get discussed? You don't know my feelings on any of the things you have mentioned, as they are not relevant to my opinion that killing for sport is wrong, which is my position and the one you appear to be fighting against.

Again, it doesn't matter two flying fucks if they are insects or dogs or humans or cockerels. I have said that killing for sport is wrong. I have not at all said "Ooooh, poor insects! Don't hurt them!" so there is absolutely no standpoint on which to base your 'hypocrisy' argument.

You created that angle entirely yourself, as I have been trying to explain. There is nothing hypocritical in my viewpoint, you just fundamentally misunderstood/extrapolated it.

Of course I can see it.......... But if your objection to it is simply that something dies

Yet clearly you don't.


If you're not willing to do something as minimal as eat organic food..."

And so on. You are trying to use information that you are entirely fabricating to support a hypocritical accusation that has no basis. Your post counters elements that haven't even been discussed.
posted by Brockles at 7:24 AM on January 10, 2008


Your post counters elements that haven't even been discussed.

Well pardon me, but I did ask "Why is it wrong?" after all. I don't think it was unreasonable of me to think that all of this stuff you've been writing had something to do with articulating why you think it's wrong.

If other ways of killing insects don't matter why did you bother to deny using pesticides?

So is the reason for this that something dies or because sportfighting is wrong or because killing has to be balanced by something? I'm not fabricating anything - I'm trying to make sense of what you're saying. And I was trying to avoid imputing irrational leaps of logic to you but I'll refrain from doing that, leap away.

I have not at all said "Ooooh, poor insects! Don't hurt them!"

Killing them doesn't constitute hurting them? WTF?

If you're going to avoid making any rational, connected argument that's definitely one way to avoid charges of hypocrisy.
posted by XMLicious at 7:53 AM on January 10, 2008


With most of the stuff that you have written, you seem to keep focussing on insects and their treatment, and my attitudes toward their treatment.

You (and other people) have also suggested that I am hypocritical by objecting to insects being hurt if I don't care about ALL insects being hurt ALL of the time. I don't think that is a sensible viewpoint, and I don't think it is in the slightest bit relevant to why I think that this - forced combat to the death of insects purely for entertainment - is wrong.

From where I'm sitting, you can't seem to get what I am objecting to without adding loads of other implications that, to my mind, aren't relevant. This may be that you think that these are intrinsically linked, but I can't see how they are. Most of your responses can't separate the concept from the participants and equating 'bad treatment of insects' as a fundamental part of the objection, hence your totally sailing past the point on:

I have not at all said "Ooooh, poor insects! Don't hurt them!"

Killing them doesn't constitute hurting them? WTF?


I was attempting to explain that my opinions on treatment of insects are entirely separate to why this site was wrong. The insects themselves have nothing to do with why this site is wrong. I'm not objecting to the site because it involves insects. So bringing in anything that is purely related to insects (ie their treatment in other regards) is irrelevant.

Maybe I should try another way of clarifying my position:

The killing of an animal/being purely for the sport or entertainment of watching them die is morally wrong.

You ask "Why is it wrong" and I have already answered you - because I think that to kill something you have to have a reasonable justification to need to kill them (or be unable to help it, in the fringe case). Entertainment and 'jollies' are not good enough reasons. End of. That is why it is wrong.

It's as simple as that, and I have said this some time ago. All this talk of 'treatment of insects' and hypocrisy just fogged the thing up. You asked me to explain why, then used all sorts of random associations to suggest that it can't be wrong unless those other, unconnected, aspects were also satisfied/complied with. Maybe the way you think about it is clouding your understanding of how I think about it.


If other ways of killing insects don't matter why did you bother to deny using pesticides?


If you understand my point, why did you bring up the concept of pesticides in the first place? This was not a complex issue, but the stuff you brought in has complicated it. Maybe I should have added the last paragraph and not responded to any of the things you raised. But I thought this was a discussion, not a need for me to repeat the same basic premise again and again until you understand it. I cannot understand why anyone would think that killing for fun would ever be 'right'.
posted by Brockles at 8:37 AM on January 10, 2008


I'm saying that to vehemently condemn this while condoning by silence the other treatment of insects is so ridiculously hypocritical as to make the initial objection to bugfights cavilous.

I think this is the point at which we both started arguing at cross purposes. My vehement condemnation has nothing to do with them being insects. So the sentence above is incorrect because it assumes an incorrect motivation for the condemnation. I'm also ignoring the other implication and assumption you made that I wantonly kill insects or tacitly approve if such actions in the rest of my life and as such must be hypocritical. Whether I do or not has no bearing on the validity of my objection.
posted by Brockles at 8:41 AM on January 10, 2008


Okay, I guess I have to do a bit more parsing of this for you than I expected. You say:

I think that to kill something you have to have a reasonable justification to need to kill them (or be unable to help it, in the fringe case).

What I'm saying is that living beings (who I will refrain from specifying as insects) were killed in the construction of the building you live in, in the construction of the road you mention driving your car on, by the mine tailings and other industrial effluvients produced in manufacturing the car you mention driving, in cutting down the trees that made the paper that you've written on and printed on your whole life, and to make the less-expensive-than-organic food that you've eaten your whole life.

And I'm asking how it is that giving you this stuff is a more reasonable justification for killing insects, or less able to be helped, than the bugfight guys making a buck to feed their family, or just making a buck? Or even for entertainment, for that matter? Bugs (and other living creatures) get killed in the process of humans producing and obtaining and consuming entertainment all the time. It's certainly a slightly different matter when their death is the subject of the entertainment than when it's instrumental to the entertainment, but are you saying it's a more reasonable justification?

And if those things aren't a more reasonable justification for killing insects, then that's exactly what I'm saying about singling out the bugfights being inconsistent moral judgment. If you tacitly approve of these things, then no, it doesn't make your objection invalid, but again that's not what I'm saying: it makes you a hypocrite, both in your own behavior and in your browbeating of the bugfight ringleaders. It shows that you don't act as if you need a reasonable justification for killing a living creature but you want other people to act that way.

Even if the issue is reasonable justification for killing you don't have any good story for why you can't talk about other un-justifiable killings besides the bugfights. Pretending that the stuff I was saying was just random and out-of-the-blue, because I was talking about insects and you were talking about all living creatures, is silly.

I cannot understand why anyone would think that killing for fun would ever be 'right'.

And I've repeatedly stated that I'm not saying that. If you find it so outrageous that I might have made interpretations of your statements, don't do the same thing to me. You'll make it look as if hypocrisy is a habit for you.
posted by XMLicious at 10:19 AM on January 10, 2008


And by the way, I'm not saying that I'm not a hypocrite in any way. As I said I'm highlighting that this is a hypocritical position to take because elsewhere on the net MetaFilter has been accused of being an excessively hypocritical community.
posted by XMLicious at 10:24 AM on January 10, 2008


<>And I've repeatedly stated that I'm not saying that.

So why do I need to clarify why it is wrong? You asked the question...

It shows that you don't act as if you need a reasonable justification for killing a living creature but you want other people to act that way.

So not so. Not even close. What it means is that I have a moral judgement on what is or is not a justifiable reason to kill an animal. Just because your point of acceptability doesn't match mine, or the people on the bug's site, does not at all make me a hypocrite. It just stops my moral switch point being consistent with (ie the same as) yours.

If you tacitly approve of these things, then no, it doesn't make your objection invalid, but again that's not what I'm saying: it makes you a hypocrite,

Way off base. Totally.

I really don't think you understand what Hypocrite means, or at the very least are grossly misapplying it. If I said that killing for sport was unacceptable, yet went fox hunting, I'd be a hypocrite. Nothing outside the context of 'killing for sport' can affect whether that statement is hypocritical. It's as simple as that. The emphasis is on 'sport or entertainment' not on killing per se. That should be obvious. I have said there is acceptable (to my moral judgement) reasons for killing but that doing it for sport is not one of those acceptable reasons for me, nor should it be for any decent, educated person (according to my moral principles). There is no hypocricy there, whatsoever. I have clarified my belief - that killing FOR SPORT is wrong. Unless you can find an instance of me killing for sport, while denouncing it as unacceptable behaviour, you are flat out wrong in your accusation. If I'd said 'killing insects is wrong', you'd be right.

I'm happy to discuss why I think that some of the things you mention are more or less acceptable, but it seems trying to hit two things at once confuses the issue, so I'll refrain. None of the stuff about why I have made that moral distinction of acceptable/not acceptable makes me hypocritical. Let's get that shit out of the way first, then we can talk about 'Why you disagree with me about at what point it is acceptable' if you want to afterwards.
posted by Brockles at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2008


If you said that "killing for an unreasonable justification when they do it is wrong but killing for an unreasonable justification for me is okay," that would be hypocritical. That isn't some wacky, random, out-of-the-blue definition of hypocrisy, it's exactly the same thing you're talking about with your fox-hunting example. It's having a standard for the public at large that you don't meet yourself.

That first sentence may well be exactly what you've said, you're just refusing to discuss whether any of the instances of killing for you that I've brought up are reasonable justifications. As I said, it's possible to avoid a charge of hypocrisy by not making your entire argument and the same goes for refusing to allow your argument to be examined. So I would agree that I haven't technically demonstrated that you're hypocritical because there may be some mitigating circumstance for you personally in all of these different cases.

But if you were to stop filibustering and we were to get around to examining your "reasonable justification" standard that undergirds the indictment of death during sports fighting - which I concede differs from the reason why I would say it's wrong, it's a much more arbitrary and less defensible standard than I would put forward - I would be really surprised if either all the cases I've mentioned turned out to be reasonable, justifiable killings or alternatively that your principles for determining when a killing is justified turned out to be consistent.

You've gone from "I can't answer those questions because they're totally random, out of the blue, unrelated!" to "I can only answer those questions later on, after you've stopped trying to make the argument that involves them."
posted by XMLicious at 11:44 AM on January 10, 2008


"killing for an unreasonable justification when they do it is wrong but killing for an unreasonable justification for me is okay," <>

Well duh. But at no stage did I actually say that, or anything of the sort, which is why the accusation of hypocrisy was utterly unfounded. You entirely created that scenario. Are you saying sorry? I haven't created a standard for the public at large that I don't meet - I don't kill animals for sport. I support my own argument 100% and infallibly. There is no scope for hypocrisy. The only possible view you could have is that my reasons for deeming it such don't match yours. To me, it's just not a good enough reason to kill, and it doesn't need to get any complicated or involved than that for the point to stand.

you're just refusing to discuss whether any of the instances of killing for you that I've brought up are reasonable justifications.

None of your instances are relevant to whether killing for sport is wrong or not, though. They're relevant to how much I respect insects as a life form, but that really doesn't affect the initial point as the two aren't related, as I said.

As I said, it's possible to avoid a charge of hypocrisy by not making your entire argument

I DID make my entire argument. You are the one that added extra complexity to it that wasn't relevant, presumably by misinterpreting exactly why I was objecting to the issue in the first place. I can only surmise that you assumed I objected (initially) because it 'is cruel to treat an insect that way' or something similar, hence why you want to analyse exactly how I perceive the importance of an insects life. A misinterpretation, but you just seem incapable of letting the implications of that misinterpretation go. No analysis of my personal treatment of insects will affect how I present that argument or create a hypocritical element.

You've gone from "I can't answer those questions because they're totally random, out of the blue, unrelated!" to "I can only answer those questions later on, after you've stopped trying to make the argument that involves them."

No, I went from "your added complexity isn't relevant and doesn't make me hypocritical" (as addressing some of that seemed to confuse the issue) to "I can only discuss the irrelevant extra detail once you understand my position, as then you may understand what the fuck I am talking about".

There are justifiable reasons for killing. I gave a few examples, but that only served to confuse the issue for you, it seems. Understanding what I think is a reasonable excuse for killing an animal can't make my position that 'sport' is not one of them hypocritical. It's pretty unambiguous, and not exactly open to interpretation. The only possible source of discussion there is just where, on the moral sliding scale, you and I differ on what makes a reason justifiable, and perhaps how we have come to that conclusion. The worst I could (potentially and according to your own moral code) be now is to be inconsistent with what I define as 'acceptable' but it can only perhaps make me hypocritical of how I view insects. Not death for sport.

What scenarios do you want me to answer?

Food - acceptable
Raw materials - (ie fur for clothing) Acceptable if there is no other source and survival is at stake. If used as a by product of food, then this is also acceptable. But solely for fur for fashion/convenience is not.
'collateral damage' - in the pursuit of someone's daily life where it is unavoidable (driving, walking etc). Acceptable unless a species (rather than individual animals) are at risk - ie no driving through the nest of an endangered species, even if it is a great shortcut.
'wilfully killing for no tangible gain to anyone' - unacceptable (although there is interpretation in 'gain') Pulling the legs off spiders falls into this type of behaviour.

How is that for a start?

posted by Brockles at 1:45 PM on January 10, 2008


Arses. Do as well as you can to disentangle my crappy HTML, there.
posted by Brockles at 1:46 PM on January 10, 2008


I can only surmise that you assumed I objected (initially) because it 'is cruel to treat an insect that way' or something similar, hence why you want to analyse exactly how I perceive the importance of an insects life.

That was my best guess for your reasoning but I knew that, unless you were a truly unusual individual who both lives in hermitage and posts to MetaFilter, there had to be some pretty glaring inconsistencies between how you live and valuing life so much that even the death of these bugs in Japan requires outcry.

And I think you knew exactly where I was going, that's why you've dragged your heels so hard.

The only possible source of discussion there is just where, on the moral sliding scale, you and I differ on what makes a reason justifiable, and perhaps how we have come to that conclusion.

Unless I can demonstrate that you kill or accept killing for your sake in cases where you do not consider it to have reasonable justification. Which, thanks to your answering these questions and with some pretty reasonable guesses about your life, I ought to be able to do.

Food - acceptable

So, based upon the examples I was giving like the use of pesticides - any killing in relation to the production of food, whether it's to actually eat what you kill, or to increase crop yields, is a reasonable justification to kill? And, since it has bearing on this - is it acceptable to kill anything for food?

(And of course, this does bring up the question of cannibalism and whether you do perhaps distinguish between different forms of life after all, but since that's tangential to my argument I'll leave it be.)

Raw materials - (ie fur for clothing) Acceptable if there is no other source and survival is at stake. If used as a by product of food, then this is also acceptable. But solely for fur for fashion/convenience is not.

So producing shellac, which is made from insects and used as a component of some varnishes for wood, isn't a reasonable justification, right? Nor is making silk, which involves killing the silkworms. So I'm sure you avoid owning anything made out of silk or giving anything made of silk as a gift. Or cotton, of course, which involves considerable use of pesticides to produce.

'collateral damage' - in the pursuit of someone's daily life where it is unavoidable (driving, walking etc). Acceptable unless a species (rather than individual animals) are at risk - ie no driving through the nest of an endangered species, even if it is a great shortcut.

Do you really think that wanting to drive or walk somewhere is a reasonable justification for killing? Would you really take a great shortcut through a nest of a non-endangered species? And if you wouldn't do that would you drive on a road that required the destruction of a nest of non-endangered organisms for its construction? A road built over endangered organisms?

And also, what if in the pursuit of someone's daily life they operate a backhoe or detonate explosives for mining or something else like that which kills easily? Do they get a pass on that? Is it acceptable for you to utilize the products of their work and killing, just not to do the same killing yourself?

How is that for a start?

It's great. Thanks for repeatedly explaining to me how much I'm confused and all but I much more appreciate you responding to my points this way.

Look, man, I totally agree with the spirit of what you're saying and I think your reasoning points in the right direction. I just think that it's disingenuous to not admit that holding a hard line on it is at least a little bit hypocritical for anyone living in the modern world. I think you ought to say "yeah, it's a little bit hypocritical, I see how I willingly benefit from things very similar to what I'm condemning, but this is what I believe." Yeah, that'll diminish your ability to use your principles to righteously bludgeon other people, but you'll be more effective in communicating those principles.
posted by XMLicious at 3:15 PM on January 10, 2008


I just think that it's disingenuous to not admit that holding a hard line on it is at least a little bit hypocritical for anyone living in the modern world.

I fail to see how it can be at all hypocritical. The only aspects that are relevant of "Killing animals for sport is wrong" are as follows:

Taking the life of an animal by forcing it to fight and die (especially in unnatural and highly stressful conditions) purely and solely for the sport of watching it fight and die is wrong.

Definitions:
Death: er. Duh.

Sole purpose: No other gain is there. No other consequence. Enjoying watching the spectacle is the sole purpose and result. The death of the animal is fundamental to the purpose. It is making a creative way to kill something at which point its purpose is over.

Sport: Jollies. Fun. Stuff that makes you grin. Laugh even. Get a boner.

There is no ambiguity in this aspect of it. As I say, this is the pure and total reason why I object to the site. As such, a black and white issue present two options - either you believe that sport-killing is acceptable or you do not. It is not the insects that matter - my objection is independent of what was actually in the cage. So no other aspect of insects and how I treat them can possibly make that hypocritical. Any basis that you are trying to generate revolves around insects - the content of the cage is irrelevant to my objection so you are wrong to try and suggest it is hypocritical on that basis, as it is not a parameter.

If it were dogs in the cage. My objection is the same.

If it were cockerels in the cage, my objection is the same.

If it were humans in the cage, my objection is the same.

Just going on and on about my treatment of insects, and trying to work yourself to the point where you can go "Aha! You bought a T-shirt in 1976 and some insects died while it was made, therefore you are a hypocrite!!!" is stupid and still missing the point.

If I'd have said "You shouldn't treat insects like that" then there is some point in your pursuit of this. But if that WAS my position, I'd not have been so emphatic about it, as I don't hold insects in as pure a light as not being hypocritical about that (completely different) statement would require. But that is not the statement I am making, although it IS the one you are trying to prove hypocritical.

To prove me hypocritical, instead of concentrating on the insects alone, you would have to keep the cage, keep the fight, keep the death of one of the occupants of the cage, keep the unnatural concept and find something that I DID find acceptable to place in that scenario. THEN you could investigate my hypocricy. But being as there is no live organism that I would find it acceptable force to fight and die purely for sport, you won't find it.

I just think that it's disingenuous to not admit that holding a hard line on it is at least a little bit hypocritical for anyone living in the modern world.

That's because you STILL think it's about the insects. You're fighting the wrong battle - you still think I am objecting because it is an insect in there. That is why I have been telling you it is irrelevant.
posted by Brockles at 4:52 PM on January 10, 2008


So why is killing for sport wrong?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:36 PM on January 10, 2008


I didn't watch any of the bugs actually die; I only watched a couple minutes of each, because quite frankly, the bug fights weren't all that exciting.

Presumably it would be okay to put the two insects into the box to fight, as long as one separated them before one of them killed the other.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:39 PM on January 10, 2008


Presumably it would be okay to put the two insects into the box to fight, as long as one separated them before one of them killed the other.

Not in my mind. But it'd be better. At least they'd both survive.

So why is killing for sport wrong?

I've answered that more than once. Clearly you don't share my moral standpoint.
posted by Brockles at 7:00 PM on January 10, 2008


I'm not entirely sure I've stated my moral standpoint.

Disney's lemming scenes must cause you nightmares. Poor little buggers, pitched off the cliff time and again. And Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom wasn't any better, putting animals into the same shooting location so there'd have to be a confrontation.

Is it wrong to take your kid out fishing?

Is it wrong to fish using worms as bait?

Is it okay to hunt deer using a golden eagle?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 PM on January 10, 2008


So why is killing for sport wrong?
I've answered that more than once.


Actually, no, you haven't from what I can see. Unless your answer is "because I say so." Which doesn't count as much of a reason, for reasons that should be obvious.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:11 PM on January 10, 2008


saw this. Thought of you.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:36 AM on January 11, 2008


Actually, no, you haven't from what I can see.

Yes, I have. Try reading it again and actually looking. I have also said that I am not presenting fact, which seems to have passed you by. I have said (almost word for word, more than once) that my moral system deems 'sport' to not be a good enough reason to kill something. If you don't agree, you clearly don't share my moral system. That bit is fact, that's for sure. You just seem to not be reading the detail.

Is it wrong to take your kid out fishing?

Not if you put them back. Not if you eat them. If you catch them and throw them on the bank to rot, then yes it's wrong.

Is it wrong to fish using worms as bait?

See above. Killing for food is different to killing for sport, despite the fact that the method of catching is deemed to be a sport.

Is it okay to hunt deer using a golden eagle?

See the first one.

I've given more than enough information for you to have drawn all these conclusions yourself. More than once. Maybe 'PURELY for Sport' missed you by as an unacceptable reason for killing. Is it any clearer?
posted by Brockles at 5:19 AM on January 11, 2008


So it's okay to torture fish, so long as you put them back. And okay to drown worms, so long as you toss the fish back.

Your morality, it is arbitrary and reasonless.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 AM on January 11, 2008


I didn't say it was at any point ok to torture fish. The morality of fishing is separate and more of a grey area than killing for sport purposes. I was trying to remove the parallels that you were trying to make between the two issues. Your extrapolations are not valid.

I haven't a strong opinion on fishing for sport (and putting back). I haven't seen any conclusive evidence that it is, in fact, torture. Last I heard (And I don't fish, so I haven't kept up to date on it) there wasn't evidence that fish reacted in a way that suggested it was enormously traumatic - or that it wasn't instantly forgotten (no lasting effects) once the fish is returned. But it is a separate issue to the one that we are talking about.

And okay to drown worms, so long as you toss the fish back.

It's certainly ok to drown a worm if you are using the fish it catches for food. If you are putting the fish back, it hits the same grey area as fishing itself does. But regardless, you are the one that assumed I was in any way referring to fishing with a worm. What about fly fishing? Net fishing? See? Grey area. There's so many permutations that they need to either hit the facts as to how much the fish suffer, or if they don't, then establish the other parameters.

None of this, however, casts any shadow at all on the morality behind thinking that killing for the sport of watching something die is wrong. I assume, from your continued attempts to make parallels that don't matter that you are trying to undermine my thinking that?
--
posted by Brockles at 8:21 AM on January 11, 2008


So have you "taken it back" that killing requires reasonable justification? You've avoided using those words since you've said them.

Saying "I don't mind hundreds or thousands of boll weevils being poisoned to death to make the cotton clothing I like to wear, but Oi! You sport fighting lot! You have no reasonable justification for what you're doing!" is hypocritical when you're asserting that killing to manufacture raw materials for non-survival purposes is not among the reasonable justifications for killing. You're holding everyone else to these standards of requiring reasonable justification for killing while you give yourself a pass.

The fact that you aren't distinguishing between insects and other kinds of life (except for humans, as I pointed out, unless you think cannibalism or running someone over while driving to work is acceptable) simply means that your stance on sport fighting among dogs, cockerels, and humans is hypocritical as much as your position on the bugfights is. So far as you've stated your argument the boll weevil requires just as much of a reasonable justification to kill it as a human in a Mad Max cage fight does.

You're now pretending that the kind of thing I've said above is some sort of twisted serpentine logic, requiring contortions and backflips in moral reasoning, rather than the entirely straightforward proposition that it is.
posted by XMLicious at 9:25 AM on January 11, 2008


So have you "taken it back" that killing requires reasonable justification?

Not at all. I haven't even wavered from it - are you trying to rely on semantics now? I haven't 'avoided using those words' any more than I have deliberately avoided letting you make some unconnected point about my personal attitude toward insects (other than pointing out its lack of relevance).

So far as you've stated your argument the boll weevil requires just as much of a reasonable justification to kill it as a human in a Mad Max cage fight does.

Yes. It does. The issue that you claim is hypocricy is the point at which that justification is achieved (still, let's not forget, according to my moral code).

Disagreeing with me about what does or does not constitute reasonable justification doesn't make me a hypocrite. It just means (presumably) that you don't agree at what point that justification is. That is all there is too it. There is no hypocrisy involved unless my argument contradicts itself - it doesn't.

...is hypocritical when you're asserting that killing to manufacture raw materials for non-survival purposes is not among the reasonable justifications for killing.

It probably would be, if I'd asserted that, but that isn't the reason that I am saying that fighting is wrong. The boil weevil example doesn't affect this at all - whether or not the provision of cheap, readily available clothing for millions of people gives justification for killing animals doesn't affect at all that I think that 'Sport' isn't a good enough one. It's a different circumstance. It has different factors and rules. Why is that not obvious?

Where I stand on that good reason in each individual example doesn't make that statement hypocritical at all - it only does if you think this is about treatment of insects. It isn't. Nor does it produce or demonstrate any inconsistency in my statement about killing for sport.
posted by Brockles at 11:37 AM on January 11, 2008


Disagreeing with me about what does or does not constitute reasonable justification doesn't make me a hypocrite.

I don't disagree with you on that point. My argument that you're being hypocritical is solely based on your own stated principles and actions and has nothing to do with my own. Though as I said, I'm also not saying I am not a hypocrite myself - I don't use all the same reasoning that you do but I have some of the same basic attitudes.

It probably would be, if I'd asserted that, but that isn't the reason that I am saying that fighting is wrong.

Yes, it is. After I asked "Why is it wrong?" you said,
The taking of a life should require justification. Not in a human sense (it was in my way), but in a 'balance' sense. Killing, as I say, for food is fine. Killing because it makes you laugh/smile/become amused is not.
Back down in the most recent post you say of sport fighting,

It has different factors and rules.

But in that indented quote above you judge sport fighting and killing for food by the exact same rule, that they require justification. By your own designation of killing for manufacturing raw materials as unacceptable, you're saying it isn't balanced by a reasonable justification, in the same way you're saying that killing for sport fighting isn't balanced by a reasonable justification.

I've demonstrated that you're hypocritical in your application of your stated standard that killing requires reasonable justification. Whether that hypocrisy disappears and everything becomes fair and honest and forthright when if one zooms in and looks only at the issue of how you criticize others for sportfighting - sure, maybe there's some sort of relativistic moral theory that could be constructed, which I haven't though of, that would have that effect. But anyone reading through this discussion would agree that at least from the perspective of requiring reasonable justifications for killing, which you've claimed as your own, there's some hypocrisy going on here. Nothing having to do specifically with insects at all.

As fff pointed out above, if you persist in trying to disassociate your aversion to sport fighting from any other moral principles, and claim that it's simply part of your moral system that's different from other peoples' and talk about sport fighting not being natural, you're making it out that the reason it's wrong is "because I say so." I hope you can see that would not persuade anyone else of anything, particularly not the sport fight ringleaders who you think should stop what they're doing.
posted by XMLicious at 12:27 PM on January 11, 2008


By your own designation of killing for manufacturing raw materials as unacceptable

Wait. I haven't said that, though. I used the fur (for glamour) as unacceptable, and for necessary clothing as acceptable. I gave two examples where the same thing can be justified. I didn't say it was blanket unjustifiable.

I also said that it was a completely different circumstance and needed to be judged accordingly. It is too different to make a direct hypocritical stance of killing for sport.

Look at it this way. I am saying Killing-for-sport is not acceptable. You are saying (from what I can tell) "Ah but because you can think of an example where killing IS acceptable, you are hypocritical". But that doesn't make sense. It's an extrapolation too far.

It's not the killing that is the major factor. It is the sport element. Going too far away from the basic premise of the original statement to try and prove it is hypocritical loses relevance.

But in that indented quote above you judge sport fighting and killing for food by the exact same rule, that they require justification.

But the different factors apply to how you arrive at the justification, not how you apply the basic rule when the 'reasons for' have been ascertained.


I've demonstrated that you're hypocritical in your application of your stated standard that killing requires reasonable justification.

No you haven't. You haven't even come close. All you have done is try and suggest that the reasons for justifying killing are varied and complex. Which is correct, but doesn't imply an inconsistent stance at all. This doesn't in any way suggest that implicit Cotton farming approval makes killing for sport equally acceptable. That's just crazy. But for my argument to be hypocritical, that is what you are saying.

My stance on reasonable justification has been 100% consistent. The only difference between me and others is that some things are considered reasonable by others whereas I may not. That is not hypocrisy. It's difference of opinion. Some factors make it reasonable, some don't. Sport has no reasonable factors if that is the pure motivation for the killing. Nor does fashion. Both are clear, cut and dried 'unacceptable' according to my moral code.
posted by Brockles at 12:44 PM on January 11, 2008


Ah but because you can think of an example where killing IS acceptable, you are hypocritical.

No, I'm saying that because you decry one sort of unacceptable killing but permit yourself another sort of unacceptable killing you are hypocritical.

It's not the killing that is the major factor. It is the sport element.

This is a new one. So you're saying that death in sports fighting would be really, really comparable to other moral issues related to sports, but it's completely unrelated to and can't be compared or comprehended in any way in relation to other moral issues involving killing? Or maybe it can be compared to killing-related moral issues but not compared quite close enough to determine issues of hypocrisy. How convenient.

But the different factors apply to how you arrive at the justification, not how you apply the basic rule when the 'reasons for' have been ascertained.

In the case of the person patronizing the bugfights or other sports fights the way they arrive at their justification is "I want to." In the case of you owning cotton clothing and bedsheets and sundry other cotton items the way you arrive at your justification is "I want to."

This doesn't in any way suggest that implicit Cotton farming approval makes killing for sport equally acceptable. That's just crazy. But for my argument to be hypocritical, that is what you are saying.

I think you may not be too firm on your understanding of the term "hypocritical". Hypocrisy doesn't have anything to do with the rightness or wrongness or consistency of the principles involved, it has to do with the behavior of a person in regards to their own principles. You are advancing a set of principles that no one participating in the modern world can hold without some degree of hypocrisy.

That doesn't mean your principles are wrong, it just means that you and me and most other people who aren't Buddhist hermits cannot entirely live up to them.

Both are clear, cut and dried 'unacceptable' according to my moral code.

Assuming that you were using "fashion" not to throw in a red herring but to represent the issue of acceding to killing for the purpose of having cotton which we've been talking about - condemning someone else for engaging in a clear, cut and dried "unacceptable" moral act, while permitting the same to yourself, is hypocrisy, no matter how many times you call the definition of hypocrisy "crazy".
posted by XMLicious at 3:51 PM on January 11, 2008


No, I'm saying that because you decry one sort of unacceptable killing but permit yourself another sort of unacceptable killing you are hypocritical.

But I'm not. At all. As I have said (hundreds of fucking times now) the judgment of factors that constitutes a justifiable reason for killing may differ from one person's moral code to another. I have not shown any inconsistency in how I apply my moral code. I have not shown any inconsistency in that, when my moral code dictates that a reason for killing is unjustified, that killing itself becomes unjustified.

If I decry one sort of killing (that I deem unacceptable) yet permit myself another type of killing (that YOU deem unacceptable) that doesn't make me hypocritical. It doesn't work like that. There is only hypocrisy if you apply your standards to my judgments. I can only being hypocritical if I act out of accordance with MY morals. Trying to skew it like this is incorrect.

I think you may not be too firm on your understanding of the term "hypocritical".

You couldn't be further from the truth.

hypocrisy
noun [U]
when someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time:
"There's one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it's sheer hypocrisy."


So unless you can find an example of MY thinking contradicting how I view the killing of animals for sport, then your accusations of hypocrisy are flat out wrong. Trying to apply or equate YOUR moral system as an extrapolation of mine is utterly flawed. Your conclusion simply doesn't work.

Unless you can find me killing for sport, despite my claiming it is wrong, your hypocritical stance holds no weight. At all.

Unless you can find an example of me killing at all (to pander to your extrapolations so far) in a manner that I find unjustifiable in my moral system then there is also no hypocrisy.

Even if you find an example where I think killing is justified (yet you don't) then it STILL doesn't make me hypocritical unless I condemn that killing. Or, vice versa, of me approving of a killing that I don't think is justified.

As long as I am true, in my statements and actions as that which I have stated (which I am) there can be no hypocrisy. What you or anyone else feels about the issues surrounding that statement matters not one bloody iota. I have to be consistent with what I say.

I am.

So you're saying that death in sports fighting would be really, really comparable to other moral issues related to sports, but it's completely unrelated to and can't be compared or comprehended in any way in relation to other moral issues involving killing?

Not at all. I am saying that removing any relevance to the 'for sport' aspect removes any possibility of calling "killing for sport is wrong" as hypocritical. As to remove that aspect makes it a different subject.

The emphasis is this:

Killing FOR SPORT is bad. Not KILLING (for sport) is bad.

So no matter how many examples there are of killing that I deem acceptable will mean that I am hypocritical to say that 'FOR SPORT' is not one of them. It just doesn't make any sense to take the path so far away from the relevant factors and then try and swing back from such a removed position and apply any conclusions. It's crazy. This is not about a representation of my views on killing, it is an unequivocal statement that killing for sport is not acceptable.

Or maybe it can be compared to killing-related moral issues but not compared quite close enough to determine issues of hypocrisy.

It can only be compared to the limit of its relevance. Taking the sport factor out of the equation removes all relevance to the statement. It's fundamental.

As I have said, 'justification' is subjective and related to the moral system of the person doing the analysis before making their position. Just because you have a skewed moral system to mine (ie they don't align) doesn't make me hypocritical in my statement that "killing for Sport is Wrong".

There may well be things in life I am hypocritical about. I'd be very surprised if there weren't. But this aspect isn't one. And unless you intend to quiz me on my feelings on every single treatment of man, animals, plants and organisms you need to accept that your accusation that I am hypocritical with my stance on killing for sport, we are going to get nowhere. Because none of that affects this issue.

Because you are wrong.

You are advancing a set of principles that no one participating in the modern world can hold without some degree of hypocrisy.

That's simply not true. I don't kill anything for sport. That was my statement. I stand by it. It is not hypocritical of me to say that. I don't kill anything for purely frivoulous reasons (such as purely and solely for my entertainment) and never have.

Just because I may, as a human, end up killing animals in a way that YOU don't think warrants justification has no relevance.

condemning someone else for engaging in a clear, cut and dried "unacceptable" moral act, while permitting the same to yourself

But I am not, and never have engaged in a 'clear, cut and dried "unacceptable" moral act. Perhaps I have by YOUR moral codes, but you are not god. I set my own morals, as do you.



This is all completely irrelevant to the statement I made, which you called hypocritical, that killing for sport is wrong. Wrongly. You have a particular concept of global, mankind hypocrisy that you are trying to shoehorn into this debate by making parallels with my statement to some sort of ground axe that you personally hold. And accusing me of hypocrisy by hypothetical alignment. Your accusations are unfounded. Retract them.
posted by Brockles at 4:30 PM on January 11, 2008


Ok, I think there is a better way of looking at this:

You consider it to be extremely hypocritical to strongly object to one particular aspect of the treatment of insects in the modern world, as it is almost impossible to find any aspect of modern life that doesn't kill hundreds or thousands as a matter of course. With seemingly little justification.

I'd agree with you.

I'm not arguing, despite you repeatedly trying to get me to, that there isn't unwarranted killing of insects in the world. It isn't relevant to my point. It IS relevant to the point you either want to make, or are trying to suggest that I am making. This was never, ever about the treatment of insects, per se. As I have repeatedly said.

But. You don't seem to have shaken your initial thoughts on this 'insect treatment' element, and seem to be trying to drag me back to that element. I don't want to go there, as it wasn't what I was saying at all. You are putting words in my mouth and then calling me hypocritical because they are in there. This is, oddly, pissing me right off. ;) To me, my objection is purely about the concept of the fight, the killing involved in it, and the reason for the fight. THAT is what you are attacking. Not what you think I was saying.

So let's only discuss whether that viewpoint of mine is hypocritical (as you accuse me of) by replacing the occupants of the cage with humans. Because insects seem to be something you have a (PUN ALERT) bee in your bonnet about and it's totally sidelining the point.

I object to gladiatorial combat because it is done purely and solely for the entertainment of others. There is no other purpose or gain from it. It is so utterly devoid of any element that is morally suggestive of justification for that aspect that it is entirely and completely wrong. The vast majority of the world agrees with me. To force humans to fight each other to the death, with no choice or chance of escape solely for the enjoyment of others - with no other purpose - is morally wrong.

Right. Any hypocricy there? Surely not? Even if I think that war can be justified, or killing in self defense, doesn't make the forced combat to teh death of two humans any more or less right. Agreed?

Now. Replace the humans with monkeys. There is nothing about that replacement that creates any additional justification for the fight. It is still purely for the amusement of humans, and one of them is forced to die for that amusement. The price of the 'fun' is death still, just as it was before.

The objection is the same.

Replace the monkeys with dogs. The combatants being dogs doesn't add any element to the battle that could in any way add further justification to the fight at all. The objection is the same. From the point of view of the objection, it is identical.

Replace with cockerels? No change. No added elements that start to justify it as anything other than for the enjoyment of humans as entertainment.

Replace with mice. Same.

Replace with Insects. It's STILL the same. Nothing has been added or removed from the original scenario (in the reasons that my morals deem it wrong) for the change of occupants.

Replace with amoeba. Same.

Replace with the flu germ or the aids virus. It's still teh same. Unless there is some gain in terms of medical experimentation as to the relative abilities of the diseases to survive attack. THEN it gets to be a grey area that moves toward 'justifiable' if advancement of medical science is at stake. But if no scientists are involved? It's still every bit as wrong as Russell Crowe in a short skirt.

NOW do you see why all the talk of fishing, insects, driving and everything else has precisely bugger all to do with the statement I made?

Find me some hypocrisy in the human example. Only work on that one if you still want to prove me hypocritical. You'll fail, though.
posted by Brockles at 5:31 PM on January 11, 2008


I object to gladiatorial combat because it is done purely and solely for the entertainment of others.

Aha. Gotcha. Is it safe to assume "gladiatorial" implies non-consensual? If so, I completely agree with you.

On the other hand, I remain a bad person, because I can't really say that I give a poop about the bugs dying. It isn't worth the emotional investment to me.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:52 PM on January 11, 2008


All right. Since you keep trying to turn this into an issue about my moral views: do you consider it completely reasonable and justified for hundreds or thousands of insects to be poisoned to death so that you can have things made of cotton instead of using cloth made from artificial fibers? If that's true, you can just go ahead and confirm it. I've given you ample opportunity to, there's no reason to keep beating around the bush.

If it's untrue - if that is not a reasonable justification for killing - my reasoning stands.

All of this subjective crap - so you'd give a pass to a bugfight ringmaster so long as they could argue that what they're doing isn't sport? Or that it's a very specific kind of sport that general principles regarding sport do not apply to?

That's the same thing you're trying to pull here by saying "You can't talk about this in general terms of unjustified killing! I won't allow it! It's a specific kind of unjustified killing!" In the U.S. justice system this is known as "trying to get off on a technicality".

I mean seriously, you're trying to make an argument based on where you'd put the parentheses or verbal emphasis in "killing for sport"? The parentheses matter alot to this, and you allowing living creatures to be needlessly poisoned to death for your sake has no bearing whatsoever?

It amazes me that you can write these things with the equivalent of a straight face. Especially that intimation "If I'm being hypocritical on this, all of mankind is being hypocritical." If it wasn't that at every turn you've tried to pretend that every single statement I've made is nonsense I'd give some credence to these straight-faced denials. The very effort you have expended to avoid making some of these statements is telling. (Telling about your forthrightness, if you're asserting that I need to be more generous or otherwise circumspect in my hypothesizing about your moral principles and actions related to them.)

---

On preview:

So let's only discuss whether that viewpoint of mine is hypocritical (as you accuse me of) by replacing the occupants of the cage with humans.

That doesn't work, because as I've pointed out a couple of times, unless you think that cannibalism or running someone over on the way to work has the same significance as eating or running over a squirrel, you consider humans to be a different category morally.

I'm really not stuck on insects. It's just that since you're bringing them in to the moral discussion of killing yourself, it brings the many, many more instances of us killing insects compared to any other kind of organism to bear.

Replace the humans with monkeys.

If someone slaughtered a thousand humans and a thousand monkeys for no necessary reason (say, used them as slaves and worked them to death picking cotton, which really did happen (well, not with monkeys)), then gasped in horror at gladiatorial combat between them and said "That's just wrong!", surely you would find their behavior a little bit strange or think that there was some flaw in their moral reasoning, if not find them a bit hypocritical?
posted by XMLicious at 5:57 PM on January 11, 2008


On the "you consider humans to be a different category morally" I don't mean that the same reasoning doesn't apply, I just think that there are likely to be additional reasons why humans shouldn't be killed involved. But as you see I gave an example with humans anyways.
posted by XMLicious at 6:04 PM on January 11, 2008


That doesn't work, because as I've pointed out a couple of times, unless you think that cannibalism or running someone over on the way to work has the same significance as eating or running over a squirrel, you consider humans to be a different category morally.

Neither of those examples includes killing for sport.

If someone slaughtered a thousand chickens and used them to feed 2 thousand dying orphans and nurse them back to life from otherwise inevitable death, yet that same person gasped in horror at gladiatorial combat and said "That's just wrong!", surely you would find their behavior a little bit strange or think that there was some flaw in their moral reasoning, if not find them a bit hypocritical?

You act like there is no such thing as justificable killing. And arguing over exactly where that grey line is, and where it turns into a black and while issue solely lies within the differences between people and their own morals.

None of it makes me hypocritical.

do you consider it completely reasonable and justified for hundreds or thousands of insects to be poisoned to death so that you can have things made of cotton instead of using cloth made from artificial fibers?

There is a very big difference between 'reasonable' and 'justified'. Massively so. There is also another aspect - necessary cost. None of my opinions on a completely different industry that has a tangible, advantageous result affects my stand on killing wantonly.


On the "you consider humans to be a different category morally" I don't mean that the same reasoning doesn't apply, I just think that there are likely to be additional reasons why humans shouldn't be killed involved. But as you see I gave an example with humans anyways.

Morally I don't think that there is a difference, no. Not at all. Social and cultural pressures adds additional weight, but the moral standpoint form where I am sitting is identical.
posted by Brockles at 6:32 PM on January 11, 2008


It's just that since you're bringing them in to the moral discussion of killing

Separately posted for emphasis:

Nope. Others obsessed on the insects. Not me. I objected purely (and pretty clearly, I thought) to the concept and the concept alone, hence my equating it completely to dog and cock fighting in my original post. Maybe you missed that bit. So any parallels you make within the insect world are of your own invention.
posted by Brockles at 6:34 PM on January 11, 2008


If someone slaughtered a thousand chickens and used them to feed 2 thousand dying orphans and nurse them back to life from otherwise inevitable death, yet that same person gasped in horror at gladiatorial combat and said "That's just wrong!", surely you would find their behavior a little bit strange or think that there was some flaw in their moral reasoning, if not find them a bit hypocritical?

I actually don't understand why you're saying this, unless you're doing so to confirm that you consider humans to be a special case. Why did you replace the "working slaves to death for cotton" in my example - which is the human example paralleling the situation of you allowing insects to be killed for your cotton that you asked for - with this food situation which you've designated as justifiable? And then again bring up the accusation that I'm focused on insects, even though I did exactly as you asked and gave an equivalent example with humans? And you still didn't answer my question, after I jumped through your hoops to pose it the way you demanded.

Does it have something to do with why you again avoided stating whether or not the boll weevil deaths for producing cotton is a reasonable justification for killing, but instead launched into something about "reasonable" and "justified" being different terms, when "reasonable justification" is your own damn term?

Actually, yes, if someone happened to have two thousand chickens lying around as the most immediate source of food to feed orphans with - which would probably mean that they not only cultivated chickens but had lots of chicken eggs available - I would find it hypocritical.

And if someone fed their pet dog a chicken and that was okay, but they then decried a sporting event that involved a dog eating a chicken for entertainment because - "Oh God, you're entertained by that! That's so immoral when you do it!" that would be hypocritical too. What about you? Would you consider that hypocritical? Why do I even bother asking?

Morally I don't think that there is a difference, no. Not at all.

Then why do you talk about killing chickens to feed humans? Why not talk about killing humans to feed chickens? Or killing humans to feed bacteria? But don't feel a need to focus on this, it's not involved in the hypocrisy argument.

Now you're simply avoiding the key questions without even giving reasons why. Did you think I wasn't going to notice or something? But you've long since demonstrated that much of what you're doing is rhetorical legerdemain, I don't care. But I'll take up a second pivotal question now, thank you very much.

1. Is poisoning boll weevils to produce cotton for you to wear instead of rayon a reasonable justification for killing?
2. Is working slaves to death to produce cotton for you to wear instead of rayon a reasonable justification for killing?

Of course, supposedly in your moral framework those are basically the same question. But there's no exclusive focus on insects, just like you wanted.
posted by XMLicious at 7:39 PM on January 11, 2008


Holy christ are you two still going at it?

Two mefites enter, one leaves.
posted by empath at 9:10 PM on January 11, 2008


Master Blaster rules Bartertown. Can I be Teena Turner?
posted by XMLicious at 9:22 PM on January 11, 2008


Who on earth wants to be Tina Turner? Do you have a fetish for bowed legs and unfeasibly bouncy hair?

I actually don't understand why you're saying this, unless you're doing so to confirm that you consider humans to be a special case.

No, it's because you are missing the point entirely, and I was trying to show that. Your example of the slaves is not at all like for like, and misses the exact point of my argument about the Bugfights. The chickens needed to die to produce the end result. The value of cotton (in terms of the advantages of its manufacture) in your example can not possibly be weighed against the cost of the lives, as the production of cotton doesn't require those deaths - it is perfectly possible to produce cotton without killing those humans.

Therefore it is entirely unacceptable - it is killing with no benefit at all. It is no different to shooting them in the face randomly as the same result could be had without those deaths. Killing per se isn't the issue, it is WHY. Also, the fact that they are human is entirely inconsequential, so not an example of the type that I was asking you to produce.

So, easy one first:

2: Of course it's not justified. There is no resulting advantage from the deaths at all. It is unnecessary killing. It's utterly incomparable to the other option. You may as well say "is it justified to stamp on puppies while I walk around my lab finding a cure for aids"?

1: That depends on the relative cost of the production of Rayon to the environment (including animal deaths, of course). It's production produces harmful waste, and I don't know enough about the cost of disposing of the material at the end of it's life - is it as degradable as cotton (which is purely natural)? Making something from natural fibres and messing with it chemically doesn't always produce a entirely natural product in decomposition terms. You have to weigh up the ability of Rayon to be produced in cost effective methods (which limit its availability to people in poorer parts) versus the environmental cost of the environment. Are any animals killed in the collecting of the raw materials? What is the effect and cost of processing the waste products and end product?

The boil weevil population is sustainable - it is a type of farming - is there any impact on any species in Rayon production? I genuinely don't know but it is certainly not cut and dried, especially when producing it creates harmful by-products. If Rayon had zero impact on the environment, and was able to be produced and distributed in equal quantities to cotton, and gave the same advantages, yes the production method (and the killing) is not justifiable. Once an alternative has been found, the method with the lowest environmental cost is the only morally tenable position. I don't know enough about Rayon, but it doesn't look from a brief skim of the available resources that it is quite there yet.

Just to go back to the start a minute, a direct analogy of your slave example is pit ponies used to mine for coal (they pulled up the carts). They were dying in large numbers and this was (rightly) deemed unacceptable as soon as an alternative was made available. It was hideously cruel both before and after, but the advantages of coal production (with no other realistic way to do it initially) made the deaths worthwhile initially. Or, at least, the lesser of two evils. Once an alternative was found, the use was discontinued. Progress.

A direct human analogy that I'm surprised you missed is War. Is it worth sending thousands and millions of people to die to produce a certain result? It can be and can't be. Iraq seems an example where it wasn't justified (although that has yet to pan out entirely, I think), but WW2 seems pretty much justified, as the Jewish people have, last time I checked, not been entirely eradicated. Or, at least, at the point when war was declared, the things that needed stopping were bad enough for people to die to stop them. Necessary killing for a overall advantage to the human race. (semantics of precise examples aside, I want to use them a examples of acceptable human killing under the same parameters).

Another? Early building work - especially railroads and tunneling for them, and skyscrapers and the like. This created a massive rise in development and improved quality of life for nearly everyone. But at the early stages of progress, it had a terrific rate of attrition for human lives. But the end result was significant progress for the entire population, so it was justified as long as it was kept to a minimum by sensible safety precautions and decent conditions. As soon as people started using slaves or treated minorities badly in the process, it lost it's justification.


Killing for sport has nothing in terms of justification. I can categorically state that that it is wrong, based on that moral standing. It is not hypocritical.
posted by Brockles at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2008


And if someone fed their pet dog a chicken and that was okay, but they then decried a sporting event that involved a dog eating a chicken for entertainment because - "Oh God, you're entertained by that! That's so immoral when you do it!" that would be hypocritical too.

But again you are only stating blurred examples. With more than one factor - did the dog need to eat?

If the dog was fully fed and attacked the chicken and killed it for the entertainment of the crowd, it completely loses it's edge case justification. If the chicken's carcass was thrown away at the end of it, it's utterly unjustified. If the dog eats the chicken, then it is just an incredibly sick and twisted way of feeding your dog.

Again, is is the total absence of anything other than sport that makes the bugfights wrong. Forcing them to fight is sick and twisted. Forcing them to fight to the death is unequivocally wrong.
posted by Brockles at 10:16 AM on January 12, 2008


Here's another relevant example:

Feeding a Gar fish live food.

This, in my mind, is fine/excusable. The video is taken as a means of showing off the gar fish and its feeding technique. It shows natural aspects of life for the gar fish, not to mock the killing of another species. It's a bit cruel for the small fish, but as the gar killed and ate it, it'd justifiable to some extent. It isn't flat out wrong.

Personally, my preference would be to feed humanely killed dead prey, but I can't condemn this outright. If they had introduced a live animal into the cage that the gar attacked and left for dead, that'd be wrong.

This is just where my moral radar sits. The to examples don't produce hypocrisy, as the first one had a purpose, the second one didn't. There comes a point where causing death becomes inexcusable. That point shifts for different people, but stating a point at which it becomes inexcusable is only hypocritical if that point shifts arbitrarily.
posted by Brockles at 10:42 AM on January 12, 2008


I thought of another analogy that might make you understand why I think the hypocrisy accusation is unfounded:

I have a 'thing' about people parking in disabled parking spaces. I'll often go up to them and question perfectly able bodied people who park there and tell them why I think they are being inconsiderate. They shouldn't park in those spaces , as they are for people that need them more.

You are, essentially, now trying to find an example of me parking in a loading zone, or a no-parking section of a residential street and calling my standpoint on disabled slots hypocritical as you deem that I have no respect for parking regulations.

This has nothing to do with parking regulations. I AM hypocritical about parking regulations, if my statement to the person had been "You shouldn't park in that space, as it's not allowed". But it wasn't. It was about the space being intended and reserved for people that need the convenience of it more.

So unless I park in a disabled space (or use a seat reserved for disable people on a train, or something) I am not hypocritical. The reasons why you think I object to the space being used aren't really relevant.

I think you are still very much trying to steer this toward some sort of larger statement on animal treatment and cruelty in the world, and seeing my attempt to tell you why that is not relevant as some sort of dodge away from a knowledge of hypocritical world treatment of animals. It's not called for. It's not what I was saying that you are trying to prove is inconsistent. You are trying to make this about what you see in this issue, not what I actually object to. We'd be having a massive thread on every aspect of parking regulations and swapping out different disabilities, cars, motor bikes, trucks, what the weather is like as you tried to find some way that I parked in my (able bodied!) neighbour's space in 1995. It's just not about the rules of parking spaces at all.
posted by Brockles at 1:08 PM on January 12, 2008


Okay - in an enormously, ridiculously roundabout way I think we've finally gotten to the result. You readily admit that killing slaves to produce cotton would not be a justifiable reason for killing. And because humans and boll weevils aren't different in terms of moral justification for killing them - Morally [you] don't think that there is a difference, no. Not at all. - you have no basis to answer my question #1 differently. By your own standards humans, boll weevils, and amoebas are equivalent.

So, as I've been saying all along, we can now make the confirmed statement:

You criticize people who run bug fights for killing without reasonable justification (by your standards) but you regularly and repeatedly endorse the poisoning to death of boll weevils without reasonable justification (by your standards) to provide cotton for your personal use.

There. You did a very good job attempting to conceal it by repeatedly and steadfastly ignoring my questions and by playing a shell game with the actions and principles involved, bravo. I'm certain that this is only one case among many where you kill or permit killing for your sake without reasonable justification by your own standards, but one confirmed example is all I really wanted to show.

I think that's a dictionary definition of hypocrisy; you're welcome to flail about contriving rationalizations why it isn't, you can claim that's blurred reasoning or blurred morality, but I think it's suffice to say that anyone hearing you condemn bugfight ringmasters (particularly the bugfight ringmasters themselves) would also be very interested to hear the above statement about your compliance with your own principles. That statement stands perfectly well by itself even if you're going to try to whitewash the definition of hypocrisy off of it.

It is not hypocritical.

This is why I'm saying I'm not sure that you understand what hypocrisy is. "It" a principle or statement is not the kind of thing that is hypocritical. "It" an action might be evidence of hypocrisy. But it's you, a person, advocating particular principles while taking contradictory actions, who is hypocritical.

-

And, like I've also been saying, I think that the bug fights are wrong too. But this kind of intentionally and willfully concealed, denied hypocrisy does nothing to ameliorate wrongs or advance any cause.
posted by XMLicious at 3:08 PM on January 12, 2008


Oh, for fucks sake. Have you read ANYTHING?

Being as I have never said that the production of cotton is not morally justified, you can't leap to the conclusion that you have here:

You criticize people who run bug fights for killing without reasonable justification (by your standards) but you regularly and repeatedly endorse the poisoning to death of boll weevils without reasonable justification (by your standards) to provide cotton for your personal use.

I think that cotton is a sufficiently good product that the natural cost of it is justified - Rayon isn't a good enough alternative to warrant it's direct replacement. So cotton production is justified, but just has an environmental cost (as I said above) that is more sustainable than Rayon's (at present). If you can't make cotton without killing boil weevils (which presumably can't be done on an economically viable scale) then those deaths are justified by the advantages of the end product. I've not at any stage stated that cotton production is not a good enough reason to kill anything that can't be avoided. The big difference between what you are saying, and the truth and fact of my position. You can't use cotton as the justification of killing the slaves, because their deaths are not intrinsically linked to the production of the cotton.

As soon as a method of cotton production is created that doesn't mean the destruction of the boil weevils is available, the killing of them in the production of cotton is not justified. Just as in the pit pony example. But if it isn't there, then justification applies. Exactly as in the pesticides example - if there is a way of getting the same end result without them, then their use is not justified anymore.

Fuck me. If I'd known you were going to cherry pick sentences to try and prove your (still redundant) point, I wouldn't have wasted so much of my time trying to explain to you why you are still trying to crowbar a non relevant position into all this.

And because humans and boll weevils aren't different in terms of moral justification for killing them

No. But their involvement in the process and their significance to the production is completely different. Opposite ends of the scale different. Why is that being ignored by you to try and make your point?


None of this makes 'Killing purely for sport is wrong' hypocritical. At all. You are still sailing many, many miles away from the actual point. And you're still wrong. Like I have said a fair few times now, pointing out that you don't think that boil weevil deaths for cotton production is a justifiable reason for their deaths does not make my assertion that sport is not a good enough reason for any deaths hypocritical.
posted by Brockles at 3:44 PM on January 12, 2008


Just to spell it out for you again:

The production of cotton is a sufficiently justified reason to kill boil weevils (Assuming they are not endangered) providing there is no alternative method of production is found that would not cause those deaths.

This is not, to preempt, a change in my position. You had assumed one thing, and you were wrong, and based your hypocrisy charge on it. Incorrectly.
posted by Brockles at 3:56 PM on January 12, 2008


Besides, whether or not I think that killing boil weevils for cotton is morally justifiable doesn't bear any bearing on the fact that I think that killing anything for sport is NOT morally justifiable. Cotton production is totally removed from sport in every way.

It CANNOT make it a hypocritical viewpoint, as it is a personally weighed up opinion based on my morals.

Sport isn't a good enough reason to kill.
posted by Brockles at 4:18 PM on January 12, 2008


"Sport isn't a good enough reason to kill."

I suggest you simply cease to bite at the non-sport bait. If that is the sum whole of your foundation, standing alone from all other moral justification for preserving or removing a bug's life, then everything else can be safely discarded as irrelevant.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:14 PM on January 12, 2008


If that is the sum whole of your foundation, standing alone from all other moral justification for preserving or removing a bug's life, then everything else can be safely discarded as irrelevant.

Exactly my point. Thank you.

It seems, however, that XMLicious wants to brand me a hypocrite for what they think I was trying to say by that, rather than what I actually said. As I have been saying all along.

My statements not agreeing with their personal perception of my intent does not mean I hold hypocratic logic.

No matter how long we debate the various merits and criticisms and moral position of as many examples as they choose to list of situations where animals and humans are killed for some kind of purpose, it doesn't make my standpoint on Killing for Sport hypocritical. At all.

Funny how that seems to be impossible to convey, mind you. Especially when the more clear I try and make that patently true statement, they choose to claim victory by selective reading.
posted by Brockles at 7:47 PM on January 12, 2008


Especially when the more clear I try and make that patently true statement, they choose to claim victory by selective reading.

Yes, but you do keep biting at the bait. It's pretty tough to tell exactly where your boundaries are when you keep getting involved in mixing them up.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:15 AM on January 13, 2008


It seems, however, that XMLicious wants to brand me a hypocrite for what they think I was trying to say by that, rather than what I actually said.

I'm pointing out that you're a hypocrite for things that you're energetically and vociferously avoiding saying, not for things you've said. Your repeated assertions that I'm confused, crazy, unable to comprehend what you have said, or haven't read anything are just more chaff, more effort to use bombastic and grandiose speech to distract from what is an entirely straightforward and simple proposition: that the outrage over unjustified killing you articulate in condemning the bug fights is almost certainly not matched by an aversion to unjustified killing in your own life.

Like I said my bolded statement above is a sufficient representation of my point and needs no other elaboration at this point.

If the tables were turned - if one of the bugfight ringmasters or someone who runs cockfights came up to you and started criticizing you for having various kinds of insects poisoned to death to provide you with cotton and other sorts of natural-fiber cloth, I'm sure that you wouldn't have any trouble marshaling the hypocrisy argument: "Hey buddy, you let animals get killed for entertainment just to make a buck. Aren't you getting a bit big for your britches to indict me for needlessly killing for material gain?"

fff's point, dare I elaborate for him, isn't agreement with you but is that you're claiming to hold a rather incongruous and unworkable moral system, if you're now saying that indictment of sport-killing stands alone independent of all other moral principles and has no relation to other rationales and justifications for killing. But if that's overreaching on my part, fff, go right ahead and correct me. (And that's a great dig about the "bait", btw. Better than my reams and reams of overwrought reasoning.)
posted by XMLicious at 9:49 AM on January 13, 2008


You stated that I was hypocritical for making a statement. You decided that I was hypocritical because you still think that the basis of that statement was something you feel is on shaky moral grounds.

You are incorrect about the basis for that statement. It doesn't comply with the parameters that you need to include to render it hypocritical. All along I have said that killing for sport is wrong. That is a statement of fact according to my moral system.

Whether or not my (separate) moral code of reasonable justification of killing is consistent with what you feel is right and just is, and always had been, irrelevant. You are still trying to prove a tangential point to the one I made.


If the tables were turned - if one of the bugfight ringmasters or someone who runs cockfights came up to you and started criticizing you for having various kinds of insects poisoned to death to provide you with cotton and other sorts of natural-fiber cloth, I'm sure that you wouldn't have any trouble marshaling the hypocrisy argument: "Hey buddy, you let animals get killed for entertainment just to make a buck. Aren't you getting a bit big for your britches to indict me for needlessly killing for material gain?"


Well yes. But it's not the fact that they do it for money that is why I deem it wrong. I didn't say "Bugfights for money are wrong". I said Bugfights for sport are wrong.

It is the fact that there is NO gain that makes it wrong. It doesn't matter to me (in terms of judging it to be wrong) if they make money from it. They are just making money from something that is already wrong. The making money itself doesn't make it wrong. The fact that they are making money from it just allows it to also be considered into your scope of hypocritical assessment. In addition, that is. Not that the making money stops the initial condemnation being valid.

I didn't go there, so don't lump me in with your personal vendetta or grinding of axes. Again, if I'd made the statement with the reasons you think are irrevocably tied to it we'd have to do some work to establish where, if at all, that aspect of my thinking is hypocritical. But that is STILL irrelevant to my initial statement. Something you seem determined to refuse to accept. Maybe you're not crazy or confused, but you sure as hell aren't listening.

Like I said my bolded statement above is a sufficient representation of my point and needs no other elaboration at this point.

That conclusion is (still a separate issue) but also still flawed. You really need to re-read my posts and see if you can find somewhere where I said anything of the sort, as I didn't.

Stop trying to drag me over to your separate issue, understand my statement for what it was (and always has been). It doesn't relate to the complexity that you wish to add. You've got this one wrong.
posted by Brockles at 10:06 AM on January 13, 2008


if you're now saying that indictment of sport-killing stands alone independent of all other moral principles and has no relation to other rationales and justifications for killing.

That's kind of what I have been saying all along. There is no weighing up of pros and cons, no establishing justification in the killing for sport concept. There is no gain. So there is no means on which to base that justification and come up with a 'no'. It falls outside the realms of requiring assessment by missing a fundamental element of the equation - tangible gain.

Anyone who approves of killing for sport is utterly hypocritical in any other form of objection to killing for sport, or animal cruelty or mistreatment or killing. Clearly. It doesn't follow that the opposite viewpoint necessarily produces the same result.
posted by Brockles at 10:10 AM on January 13, 2008


Also, if you think that I am 'now saying it' then I refer you to 7 days ago:

Killing anything (animals and humans) for sport is wrong. Killing something in the pursuit of something else (ie your daily lives or for food) is different. It is the killing purely for the sport of watching them die that makes this indefensible.

If there was any sort of gain. Then you can look for my hypocrisy in how I determine how I quantify and weigh up that gain. But being as the 'weighing' up process, that you are convinced is flawed, doesn't even come into play here, it is not relevant.

Is that any clearer and proof of no change in position? That's my second post on the topic...
posted by Brockles at 10:29 AM on January 13, 2008


The fact that they are making money from it just allows it to also be considered into your scope of hypocritical assessment.

Nope, that example would work just as well without any money involved.

There is no gain.

Oh, now there being no gain is part of it, eh? Let me guess - pursuit of daily life (as long as your daily life doesn't involve running bug fights) and higher cotton crop yield are gain, pursuit of entertainment is not?

Anyone who approves of killing for sport is utterly hypocritical in any other form of objection to killing for sport, or animal cruelty or mistreatment or killing. Clearly.

It's amazing how easily you extend a sport issue to any other form of animal cruelty, mistreatment, or killing when it involves someone else. But you insist that your own principles on sport must be judged in isolation from other principles and behaviors. That seems awfully... what's the word I'm looking for?

I've said that although it fits my definition of hypocrisy, the important thing is that the statement you've so vigorously opposed me putting together is of interest to anyone considering your position on the bug fights. I'm entirely content to let any third parties read it and put their own label on it. But somehow I think that "perfectly fair and impartial" won't be coming up very often.
posted by XMLicious at 2:50 PM on January 13, 2008


Oh, now there being no gain is part of it, eh?

No, read the post I linked to in the post you just replied to: It serves no purpose other than to get your jollies. is the gain. There is no purpose, as it does not produce a gain of any sort. Gain has been involved all along, you just ignored it until now, as it didn't suit you.

'Gain' allows the value of said gain to be factored against the cost of the lives lost. There is no change at all in my position, it has been pretty damned consistent. Yet you choose to pretend you haven't seen aspects of it before as if I am trying to switch and change. You deliberately cherry pick elements to try and make my argument out to be hypocritical, while simultaneously refusing to take ALL the things I have said to explain it into account, or even view the cumulative effect of the additional information.

Very, er, clever. You define 'deliberately obtuse' far more than I am representing the definition of hypocrisy.

pursuit of daily life (as long as your daily life doesn't involve running bug fights) and higher cotton crop yield are gain, pursuit of entertainment is not?

More proof you aren't reading any of my posts.

I've said that although it fits my definition of hypocrisy, the important thing is that the statement you've so vigorously opposed me putting together is of interest to anyone considering your position on the bug fights. I'm entirely content to let any third parties read it and put their own label on it. But somehow I think that "perfectly fair and impartial" won't be coming up very often.

I remind you that the particular 'statement' you are referring to is entirely fabricated by yourself as an erroneous interpretation of my point. I'm vigorously opposed to you putting it together because it is a deliberate misrepresentation of my position. The important thing is that it is a lie. Not only that, but I had directly contradicted the logic required to make that statement from my position just a couple of posts above it.

But no. You just pick the words that agree with you, eh? Not the actual sentences and clarifications. Despite the fact that (by my standards) I have demonstrated that cotton farming justifies the killing of boil weevils, providing such killing is not avoidable in the process. If the killing is not unavoidable, and production can occur without the deaths, then it is not justified - see my examples on slaves, and on pesticides. Thus removing any possibility of that statement 'demonstrating' any hypocricy. I have directly contradicted your 'conclusion of my position' yet you ignore it to carry on touting and repeating your fabricated 'point' like you have somehow 'won'.

Ridiculous.
posted by Brockles at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2008


You just pick the words that agree with you, eh?

When you make multiple contradictory statements or engage in other bullshit artistry, yes.

Despite the fact that (by my standards) I have demonstrated that cotton farming justifies the killing of boil weevils, providing such killing is not avoidable in the process. If the killing is not unavoidable, and production can occur without the deaths, then it is not justified - see my examples on slaves, and on pesticides.

Just to give you a hint of what the answer to this is, cotton was farmed for several thousand years before there were pesticides. Not that you had any interest in checking on that before you started saying that pesticides were necessary and slaves were not. Who's fabricating things again? (Tee hee, fabricating, cotton) By the way it's even possible right now to buy cotton that is grown without pesticides.

I have directly contradicted your 'conclusion of my position'

Nope, you simply made up a bunch of stuff about how cotton is cultivated without even Googling it.
posted by XMLicious at 6:37 PM on January 13, 2008


When you make multiple contradictory statements or engage in other bullshit artistry, yes.

Refusing to support your fabrications is not contradicting myself. I may be saying something that doesn't agree with what you are trying to get me to say, but not contradictory to the things I have been saying all along. You're wrong, you just. don't. get it. Nothing I have said is contradictory, or you'd have been quoting it in bold back to me a hundred times over by now.

Just to give you a hint of what the answer to this is, cotton was farmed for several thousand years before there were pesticides. Not that you had any interest in checking on that before you started saying that pesticides were necessary and slaves were not.

See? You don't read a damn thing! Days and days ago, I said that pesticides weren't justifiable if there was a realistic alternative. Besides, production and viable commercial production that can deal with modern demand are a touch different, aren't they? I'll save you an argument. Yes. They are. Very. I imagine farming cotton on a commercially required scale a thousand years ago would have been a breeze, wouldn't it? Farming it by hand fast enough to keep filling all those massive container ships on horse and cart to the electric mills all over the world. Do you really think the ancient history of cotton is relevant to the massive clothing demand of the modern day? The game, in case you weren't sure, has changed just a teensy bit...

Nope, you simply made up a bunch of stuff about how cotton is cultivated without even Googling it.

Actually, I've not made one single claim to fact about cotton production. Or can you not read? Try again. So if the actual thing you wanted was for me to research cotton production, rather than explain my stance on justifiable deaths, could you not have made yourself more clear? Or perhaps are you trying to sneak out on a technicality? Why do you think I kept saying "cotton production justifies the death of weevils if there is no alternative that doesn't mean their deaths"?

You do realise that means 'If you can make cotton viably with no weevil deaths, that precludes killing them for its production being justifiable'

Because I didn't know how valid your claim about the weevils was, I put in a qualifier. I have no fucking idea how many weevils are killed per bale of cotton. I imagine you don't. The number of weevils had to be hypothetical, as you didn't specify 'per x bales of cotton'. The argument was you 'making stuff up' about my apparently justifying slave deaths making cotton. I was explaining to you how my morals would go about justifying, or not, the production of cotton at the expense of weevil deaths.

You called me hypocritical for saying "Killing for Sport is wrong". Your latest claim to victory revolves entirely around "You don't actually know how many weevils are killed!!!111111 Hahahalolololol you suk!". The point of my position doesn't revolve around the finer details of cotton farming (an example you brought into the equation that involved a nominal, example death toll of 10,000 weevils) it was about whether I would consider that death toll justifiable or not, and why. I didn't question your accuracy on the number of deaths because it wasn't relevant. I answered your question with the parameters you gave for the example. I took your example at face value to focus on the facts of my position. You are now playing Wikipedia games with your own hypothetical example. How pointless.

If you read (at all) up a few posts my position was as follows:
As long as weevils are not placed in a position of being endangered by the production of cotton, and that the deaths of the weevils are unavoidable, then production of cotton is justified (as there is no viable alternative material) at the expense of those deaths.

So if the number of weevils is 10,000 (and this produces no threat to the population) it's fine. If the number of deaths is zero, then it is still just as fine, by the same parameters, just a happier ending for the weevils. If there are only 10,001 weevils, it is not fine. How can I make that any clearer? I don't need to know the actual number of animals or their deaths to demonstrate how I'd arrive at a justification (or not) and I never claimed to know. This is why I looked into Rayon as an alternative, as that was what the viability of cotton hinged on. Not the number of weevils. From the point of investigating how I'd justify it (which your hypocrisy accusation hinged on) the issue was 'can (y number of deaths of animal x) be justified for this product?' and I answered that. None of that is affected by my knowing, or not, the exact number of weevil deaths.


Now will you finally stop making stupid accusations of hypocrisy? You've demonstrated zero inconsistency in my statements, but just played silly buggers with selective reading and wild claims and pathetic games about the specifics of cotton farming. Again, you macro-focus on detail because the basic premise of your accusation has no basis, yet you refuse to admit it.
posted by Brockles at 7:36 PM on January 13, 2008


Riiight. So anyways, I provided a link above that shows cotton is produced viably, on a modern scale, with pesticides being no more necessary than slave labor. You've said you don't distinguish between humans and insects morally, so all this blather about counting boll weevils is either irrelevant or it means that you do distinguish (a contradiction, in case I need to point it out). If no human slave deaths are reasonably justified killing, no insect deaths are.

Actually, I've not made one single claim to fact about cotton production.

Of course you did, or you wouldn't have claimed to have "directly contradicted" my statement or talk about "removing any possibility" that I've demonstrated hypocrisy on your part; you would have spoken of "possibly contradicting" it dependent on whether what you'd said was true. Yes, I noticed that at the same time you were talking as if you'd made a definite statement you'd put those "if" qualifiers in everywhere, that's an example of what I mean when I point out that you make multiple contradictory statements. And yes, I pick the one I'm going to bother arguing with.

You are trying to contrive arguments based upon specifics of cotton farming and 10,000 versus 10,001 boll weevils, when you know very well that as I'm saying you must kill and allow killing without justification all the time in various aspects of your life, buying pesticide-produced goods and otherwise. We've only gotten into details because you're pretending you have no idea what I'm talking about.

And like I've said before, I'm content to let that statement stand and be judged by itself. If you want to talk about "winning the thread" - if that will make you feel as though your arguments are more valid, go right ahead and crown yourself the "victor".
posted by XMLicious at 6:48 PM on January 16, 2008


I provided a link above that shows cotton is produced viably, on a modern scale, with pesticides being no more necessary than slave labor.

Yes. Which, using my many, many demonstrations of how I define justification for killing, means that the pesticides are not justified in cotton production. Just as I said much the same about pesticides in general weeks ago. Scroll up. It's all there.

If no human slave deaths are reasonably justified killing, no insect deaths are.

Given the evidence of viable production, yes. Duh. I've said that a number of times. Scroll up. It's all there, and it couldn't be less ambiguous. I said "if there is a viable alternative, the deaths are not justifiable". How ambiguous do you think that is? How obtuse are you trying to be?

There are no inconsistencies. No hypocritical standpoints. Every single time you come back with this, I point to previous statements (which you ignore) and are able to stand by them. They are the same, and it is simply you trying to shoe horn a personally held view that isn't warranted that makes you carry on.

And like I've said before, I'm content to let that statement stand

Clearly, you don't let truth stand in the way of a good one liner and hyperlinks, then. You have shown no hypocrisy in my arguments at all, and 'that statement' is patently false as a representation of my position, which you'd know if you would only actually read the words I wrote, not just saw the ones you were looking for. That statement is easily and entirely contradicted, either by several other posts of mine, or even just one less than a quarter of a page from it. You simply made it up.

Of course you did, or you wouldn't have claimed to have "directly contradicted" my statement or talk about "removing any possibility"

You made a statement from using just one half of a causal statement. You ignored the second part and used the first half as a complete statement. Cherry picking, out of context, half a statement to try and support your rapidly crumbling case as you continue to do all along. Using the whole statement directly contradicted your representation of it. It didn't contradict the details, it contradicted what you presented as my position.

You are trying to contrive arguments based upon specifics of cotton farming and 10,000 versus 10,001 boll weevils, when you know very well that as I'm saying you must kill and allow killing without justification all the time in various aspects of your life, buying pesticide-produced goods and otherwise.

Nope. I was saying 'stop trying to use the specifics to fog over the fact that your example failed to find hypocrisy'. Completely failed. I was trying to demonstrate the logic I use to define 'justified' using an example THAT YOU GAVE ME. I was (crazy I know) answering the fucking question. Your question. Using exactly the same logic and arguments that I have all along. Now you're calling the cotton thing false because it didn't work? It was your example...

when you know very well that as I'm saying you must kill and allow killing without justification all the time in various aspects of your life

Not only is this an assumption that you have yet to demonstrate, but it also doesn't prove me hypocritical in my original statement. Allow me to remind you what it was:

"KILLING FOR SPORT IS WRONG".

That is what I said. That is what you called hypocritical. That makes you wrong.

However, even in the larger implications of the (additional and tangential) issue of my belief that killing requires justification, I can also say without hypocrisy that I don't kill without justification, given the choice. At all. You simply (again as I have said a number of times) don't share my definition of 'justified'. That doesn't make me hypocritical either. It just makes me 'disagreeing with you'. Allowing killing that I don't think is justified (perhaps through having no choice, maybe) doesn't at all make my position that killing must be justified at all hypocritical. Being unable to prevent killing (I can't stop the Iraq war, for instance, but I don't think the killing is justified) is not the same as standing by and ignoring that something will be killed.

I don't think that any of the deaths of the most recent suicide bombing were at all justified. Am I hypocritical now that it happened? Do I have to prevent every single non-justifiable death before I can say that a death has to be justified? In the whole world? Surely that is unrealistic. To not be able to produce an unrealistic result would leave you without fault, surely?

When I drive to work, I can't see the bugs that get squashed on my windscreen. I can't avoid them, so their deaths are accidental. Even if I walk to work then I may step on a bug without seeing it, or one may fly in my mouth and make me cough and accidentally swallow it. I've killed. But I couldn't help it. I can't swerve to avoid a bug because I can see the damn thing. And I can't be sure I won't just swerve straight into another. It's outside field of control.

NONE of that makes my position that killing must be justified hypocritical. Not at all. I can't help squashing those bugs, as I can't see them to avoid them. 'Accidental' is justified if it is unavoidable. Swerving to run over a racoon because it looked at me funny isn't..

The point you are obviously trying to make (which you still seem confused about) is "Causing death as part of your everyday life is inevitable, so saying that no animals should be harmed or killed for any reason is hypocritical".

Yes. It would be. 100%. I even said exactly that many, many days ago. But that is not the statement I made and that you called hypocritical. It is also not at all the same statement that killing without justification is wrong. YOU are trying to apply a conclusion from one statement to a completely different one. As I pointed out several days ago.

when you know very well that as I'm saying

Yes, yes. I know very well what you were saying. I always have, and have said as much way up at the top of this thread. I ALSO said that the point you are trying to make requires me to have made a different statement than I did, and even for different reasons. But, again, you only see what you want to, not what I say. You are, and always have been, talking about a different hypocrisy that exists that you think I was referencing. I wasn't referencing or making the statement that you think I was by any means (Again, I've said this before) but you keep hammering away as if it will somehow edit my posts all through the thread to make you right. It won't. If you read them you'll see.
posted by Brockles at 7:39 PM on January 16, 2008


You've said you don't distinguish between humans and insects morally, so all this blather about counting boll weevils is either irrelevant or it means that you do distinguish (a contradiction, in case I need to point it out).

No. All I did was say that the metric by which the justification of their deaths in producing cotton is different, as they are involved in the process in different ways.

This is fact, not contradiction. Again, you are either being deliberately obtuse, or you lack significant understanding of grammar and sentence structure in establishing what I am saying from the words I type.
posted by Brockles at 7:42 PM on January 16, 2008


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