- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I'd like to begin discussing the role of morality.

Posted by: Spikes McGuire on February 05, 19100 at 11:41:18:

In Reply to: Hitler was not a vegetarian posted by MDG on February 04, 19100 at 22:51:06:

: Meyer, R. (1985). "Was Hitler a vegetarian?" Vegetarian Voice, 12 (2), p. 6. (Rudolf Meyer is a past President of the Vegetarier Bund Deutschlands) [Available from North American Vegetarian Society, P.O. Box 72, Dolgeville, NY 13329]

Noted and interesting, MDG (F.L.), but wasn't the point to use a name whom we all know and illustrating a logical point? Sure, he used Hitler, but wasn't the point as the illogic of saying "A has quality x and B has quality x therfore A has signicant likeness to B." Doesn't using Hitler and vegetarianism clear up this point more quickly?

On another topic, the recent application of Godwin's Law has gotten a little out of hand. Wasn't the point of Godwin's law that anyone who accuses someone else of being a Nazi automatically loses the debate? And, this is called a debating room, but it's not really a proper debate really, is it? Are there judges? Is there an audience? Is there anyone keeping score? No, so, people cannot lose or win here, at least not in the sense of organized competition.

And maybe I have a silly mind, but isn't Godwin's Law meant to be a little humorous, like those Murphy's Laws?

I have a question MDG (F.L.) might open up an interesting line of discussion. MDG, please describe why you're a vegetarian. Is it for preventative health reasons, environmental reasons (rain forest, the wastefulness of the beef industry with crops and farmlands devoted to cows) or moral reasons (it's wrong to kill animals, meat is murder, that kind of thing).

Of course I realize that these categories overlap and your reasons are probably several. But I'd like to begin discussing the role of
morality. That is, a lot of our discussions here are moral in character, but many Marxists are not comfortable putting Marxism in terms of morality, right and wrong (for reasons I can see).

I have a friend who is a very learned and active Trotskyist, and I get into this discussion with him often. He says (convincingly) that morality is always predicated on the social relations, so he doesn't even want to enter the discussion yet.

I say that Marx's writings are full of moral indignation at the unnecessary suffering capitalism inflicts on people and that, as much as he denied it, Marx was a moralist.

So, keeping my own dietary choices a secret, I'd like to as MDG: what's your view on vegetarianism? Why should people stop eating meat?


(P.S. Have you read Jeremy Rifkin's "Beyond Beef"? It's quite an eye-opener

McSpotlight: Godwin's Law isn't exactly humourous; more frustrated. It arises from the perception that, once the parties in a debate have started calling each other Nazis and fascists, any productive part of the debate has pretty much gone and the debate has degenerated to name-calling.

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