- McSpotlight -

Stop parsing definitions.

Posted by: Stuart Gort ( USA ) on August 28, 1998 at 10:28:22:

In Reply to: Stop being obtuse, Stuart, Part 2 posted by Mike on August 27, 1998 at 10:24:51:

::: This is why I called you obtuse, Stuart. For an intelligent guy, you're being frustratingly dense. I did NOT equate the killings in Tianneman with the meat industry. I am making an analogy, which can be diagrammed as: A is to B as C is to D. In this case, you have the murder of hundreds of Chinese dissidents being belittled as the Chinese government's mere "excess;" the seriousness of the action is vastly dimished by calling it an excess. Similarly, the systematic brutalization and butchery of animals in factory farms is vastly diminshed in seriousness by referring to it as simply the "excesses" of the meat industry. I hope you understand my analogy better now.

Oh, I see it now. You equate the depth of understatement that the
use of the word excesses produces when using it to characterize
Chinese government and meat industry practices. That's a clever way
to link immorality and my lunch by using both institutions together
contextually. Perhaps I'm being too harsh and perhaps your analogies
are hand picked for optimal emotional impact. Let the reader decide.

: : Finally, When you say, "How much sin is needed before one is bad?
: Big, metaphysical question, which I don't think we need to resolve for
: the purposes of this debate. Suffice it to say that when I condemn
: meat-eating as wrong, it is the practice of eating meat, and not the
: practitioner, which I consider immoral.", all you do is reiterate our,
: as yet, unresolved differences.

::: No, I'm trying to get it into that head of yours that I am not calling you, Stuart Gort, an immoral person; I am calling the practice of eating meat, particularly factory farmed meat, immoral. Get it???

Yes. Your wrong though. Your reasoning exculpates all individuals
and claims no immoral person exists except for those individuals who
have committed enough immoral acts to have crossed the line. In your
world Hitler was immoral (I agree, of course) because of the
quantitative or qualitative nature of his acts. Obviously you draw the
line of immoral and moral somewhere between me and Hitler. Thanks, but
I don't like being told that my actions are immoral by someone who
uses personal opinions based on the offense tally to determine
morality. I'll never know where I stand with you because where you
draw that line is arbitrary. I'd rather have the unshakable standard
for my moral code that is God.

: : Find me a functional difference between what a person is and what he
: does Mike. Are you saying I might be a good guy except when I eat a
: burger? Or are you saying that a man is not defined by his actions?
: I don't want to go too far down this road but you are certainly
: suggesting in the last quote that I participate in immoral activity.
: Aren't you!?

: AAAUGH! No, you can still be a good guy even though you eat meat! On the other hand, you might be a pedophilic, flag-burning, wears-white-
: after-Labor-Day fiend -- I don't know! All I'm saying, as I keep trying to point out to you, is that in my opinion, eating meat is an immoral act. As I said before, and as you acknowledged, the question of how many immoral acts a man must engage in before we can call him a "bad" man is a deep metaphysical question which I do not want to explore via the internet, and which I frankly doubt I can answer. Hitler and Stalin were bad guys, I know that. Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi were good guys, I know that. The rest of us probably fall in between, but again, we need not answer that question for the purposes of this debate about the specific act of eating meat.

How many burgers must I eat to finally be immoral Mike? How many
dead cows make a murderer? How many chikens a scoundrel? Can I eat
a thousand grasshoppers for every lamb? Does my karma improve as it
moves from red to green? You've said my actions are immoral. I want
to know what my quota is with you before I step over your morality
line and actually become immoral. You have no real answer to this
because men are judged by their actions in the real world and my
actions, in your opinion, are immoral.

: : Be a vegetarian. Have a blast. If you critisize me for my choices
: be prepared to offer the basis for your moral code. So far, you have
: not unless you see your opinion to be superior to mine. I don't.

: I believe I've now offered my basis for my moral code.

I don't think you have admitted that your opinion is your basis for
determining your moral code. You see Mike; you can't call my actions
immoral without alluding to a belief system which is larger than
yourself unless you are completely selfish. Morality is God given. If
it is not God given then it is determined by majority rule - period.
What is right and wrong in your opinion is absolutely irrelevent to me
if you or a tiny minority use personal opinions to justify their
philosophies. I could just ignore you as one who chooses to be
different but you provoke when you call my actions immoral. I certainly
won't go out of my way to offend you if you have a dietary preference
but I'll not abide your judgement of my actions.

::: Now, please answer my questions, specifically, are you content to support the practices I outlined in my earlier message ("What are you defending, Stuart?), and how can you justify killing and eating animals when you have a vegetarian option?

Easy; in order of importance:

1. Scripturally, God has provided animals for my use.
2. The freedom to eat meat is protected by law (at least for now).
3. The vast majority of people contemporaneously and historically
have eaten meat.

Regarding the meat industry practices; you'll get a full disclosure
of my opinions after you manage to stow the nasty rhetoric and your
moral judgment of my actions. My opinion may not be worth that to
you though.

Stuart Gort

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