How do atheists justify eating meat on an ethical basis?

As we all evolved from common ancestors, and atheists reject the idea that we have god given dominion over the other animals, what ethical justification is there for not considering then suffering of other species?

It seems that to discriminate on the grounds of species is just as arbitrary as to discriminate on the basis of skin colour, sex etc.

I base my ethics on minimising unnecessary suffering and death and promoting well being and happiness. What are others ethics based upon?

Tags: Vegetarian, vegan, veganism, vegetarianism

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Atheism just means no "belief in god", which means "no creator". So humans evolved, which means "survival of the fittest". Eat or be eaten, works for me.
Where do you live where you have to eat or be eaten? Must be a rough neighbourhood! So no ethical considerations then?

John just an fyi, there was a very long and at times quite heated thread on this topic recently so people might be somewhat burnt out.  If you want to read it look in the hang with friends forum and search for "that eat meat".

Thanks that is really helpful. Will do!
Sorry being dim. Couldn't find the 'hang with friends' forum. Could you post a link? Thanks
Thanks

So, becuse our ancestors, early man ate meat, we should and need not consider the consider the morality of our actions. This is very poor logic. Females evolved the ability to reproduce by the age of 10 or 11. No doubt good for the survival of the species. But do you think it right to impregnate a girl of that age? We now have the ability to reason and can rational decisions based on ethics and morals.

There is no sound ethical or moral reason why we should fail to consider the suffering of other species just becUse they are other species. It is arbitrary just like treating people differently on the basis of skin colour.

There is also a vegetarian group on Nexus.

thanks

"As we all evolved from common ancestors, and atheists reject the idea that we have god given dominion over the other animals, what ethical justification is there for not considering then suffering of other species?"

Evolution put us at the top of the food chain, …where does "god(s)" even have a place in this debate, other than as a straw man fallacy?

"It seems that to discriminate on the grounds of species is just as arbitrary as to discriminate on the basis of skin colour, sex etc."

This is very nice woo, but there's no basis in the realities of science or logic involved to substantiate it. BTW, evolution is many things, one of them is many carnivores/omnivores "arbitrary discrimination" on the grounds of species. The analogy is specious.

"It seems that to discriminate on the grounds of species is just as arbitrary as to discriminate on the basis of skin colour, sex etc."

Is this just a special pleading fallacy, or do you apply this to all carnivores and omnivores; re: "discriminate on the grounds of species"?

"I base my ethics on minimising unnecessary suffering and death and promoting well being and happiness."

What about the well being and happiness of those who eschew the fallacies and practice responsible eating habits according to evolution (not woo)? You don't seem to be promoting this at all.

What are others ethics based upon?"

Sound reasoning and an innate sense of morality.

"Evolution put us at the top of the food chain, …where does "god(s)" even have a place in this debate, other than as a straw man fallacy?"

This may be true but are you saying we are contrained by our evolutionary past. Can we now not make rational ethical decisions?

"This is very nice woo, but there's no basis in the realities of science or logic involved to substantiate it. BTW, evolution is many things, one of them is many carnivores/omnivores "arbitrary discrimination" on the grounds of species. The analogy is specious."

Not sure what 'woo' is but thanks. Are ethics no more than science or logic? I think so.

 

"Is this just a special pleading fallacy, or do you apply this to all carnivores and omnivores; re: "discriminate on the grounds of species"?"

 

Are you asking whether I would enquire with a lion why it ate a zebra. Not sure what you are asking. I owuldn't ask the lion because it cannot reason. You can reason, you can hold moral and ethical thoughts so that is why I am asking you, not a lion or other meat eater.

"What about the well being and happiness of those who eschew the fallacies and practice responsible eating habits according to evolution (not woo)? You don't seem to be promoting this at all."

You will have to expand on this. Don't understand what you are saying?

 

Where do you get your innate sense of morality from. Do you not have some guiding principle?

 

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