- McSpotlight -

Yet to be answered...

Posted by: Stuart Gort ( USA ) on September 05, 1998 at 15:31:42:

In Reply to: For Stuart (and Mike...)in the Spotlight posted by Kevin Dempsey on September 04, 1998 at 10:28:05:

:: What is problematic about these points? Well, for starters, just because lots of people agree does not make something more justifiable.
Perhaps we should evaluate the word "lots" for a while. More below.

::For instance, most canadians were opposed to Jewish immigration in the decades following the second world war, so it's right then that they were largely banned from entering the country? During the 1600s, the majority of people supported enslavement of "inferior" races, so slavery is justified, right? Well, no, because now more people are opposed to it. How could that have happened, since the majority was right? Well, people changed their minds. Slavery did not become "less right". It was always wrong, and people just began to realize this. (I know one of you has trouble with this type of argument. Comparing these two issues does not mean equating them, necessarily. It merely serves to prove the falacy of the argument "majority rules". It's not hard to grasp.)

We are not going to compare a natural dietary compulsion to racial
discrimination are we? If you are compelled to do this I will begin
to compare vegans to Right to Life protesters and then see if you wish
to parse the terms "equate" and "compare". When you or anyone else
mentions the issue of slavery and meat eating together contexually you
know what your doing. So does everyone else and I find it repugnant.
I'm going to ask this outright and I expect a straight answer; Do you
find meat eating to be on the same moral level as slavery?

:: Similarly, just because it is law, does not make it right. Examples abound, including the institution of slavery, before it was abolished, but here are a couple of others. (Again, I am not NECESSARILY equating the two, I am questioning the assumption that law makes "right".) In most western societies in the past, it was legal for a husband to beat his wife. In fact, there were laws implemented to "control" this accepted cultural practice. So we have the phrase "rule of thumb", which comes from a law which permitted a husband to beat his wife or child only with implements no thicker than his thumb. Well now, that's pretty "right", don't you think? How about when adulterers (well, actually usually only adulteresses) are stoned to death because the law demands it (still common today in some countries.) Is that right? (Grab for your bible, it knows the answer.)

Here we have wife beating, slavery, adultery and a subtle jab at
the Bible brought up in an argument from one who has an ostensible
goal of turning me away from meat. Good luck Kevin. I will answer you
though because you've missed my point regarding legality. What is right
and what is wrong is morality. What is legal and what is illegal is all
one has when morality is based not on an ecclesiastical standard but
rather, on popular opinion. My argument is not that because it is
legal, meating eating is right or moral, it is that in the absence of
a solid moral argument against meat eating the legality of the issue is
all that matters. Majority opinion basically controls legality.
Majority opinion dwarfs your opinion. Bummer for you that "lots" of
people eat meat Kevin.

:: Then we get to the "God said it was mine" argument. Well, how can we argue with a claim to absolute truth? You win Stuart, since your religious beliefs cannot be disproven by others, only disbelieved. I guess your god is not so benevolent though, since his stewardship recipe is destroying the planet, not "merely" the lives of a few dozen billion cattle, hogs, and chickens.

The planet has been dying since day one Kevin. The sun will burn out.
If that doesn't get you then the collapse of the universe will. You are
free to spend your life trying to stop all that. Feel free to spend
your time trying to change a habit so basic that it sees it's history
chronicled in the first written communications of mankind through to
every contemporaneous culture today. As for my beliefs, I don't shrink
from them. I'm not the one walking around in a tizzy all day. God
shares His peace with me as He would with you if you could turn your
eyes from the creation for a while and focus on the Creator.

:: I'm sure many people (including many christians) would concede that the biblical arguments used to justify meat eating and the consumption of the planet are merely attempts to maintain the status quo, to keep life simple, to deny that humans are responsible for destruction and suffering throughout the world. Biblical authors had agendas, so did biblical translators, so do biblical interpreters. Even those qualified historians who are devout Christians will readily agree with this.

Which ones Kevin? These are blanket assertions not to be taken
seriously by any scholar I know. You are asserting that:

- The Bible is written to maintain status quo when all but one of
Christ's disciples were tortured to death for their beliefs.

- The Bible helps us Christians deny that humans are responsible for
destruction and suffering in the world when that is the very heart of
the book as it documents and denounces sin in the world.

- The Bible serves to make life simple? Please Kevin. Have you read
any of it?

::Either revise what you believe from the bible or admit to yourself your god is a spiteful one.

That will be difficult to do when I know Him to be otherwise.

:: Which is easier? "God said we could." Get over it, and take responsibility for your own actions, instead of explaining it away with absolute truths.

I'm sorry you hold no absolute truths. If there are no absolutes,
why am I wrong to eat meat? No absoutes means no judgements, morality,
or right and wrong.

You have nothing to say about this - do you?

:: Bear in mind the broader picture, that when you dine on sirloin steaks (or burgers or tongue or roast or...) tonight, 10 people are likely going to go without food because the grain they could have eaten was used to fatten the cow your dinner came from.

Lame, sophomoric, and crude. No other reply.

:: How about people forced out of subsistence farming to make room for yet another cattle farm, the offspring of which feed the addictions of western/northern industrial nations (primarily north america) which are so over-beefed they are dying because of it? How about the destruction of tropical rain forests to raise cattle when that soil base isn't even suited for cattle grazing? How many acres will disappear during your dinner time? Bear in mind the vast number of extinctions (thousands each year) which arrise solely because of the beef industry. It's ignorant to not make yourself aware of such consequences, and it's sick and selfish to WILFULLY remain ignorant. Stop arguing and do something about it. I know why people like Mike are arguing. They are fighting for what they believe in (do they stand to gain anything else?) Do you believe in all those consequences that arrise because you support the beef industry? If you do, your missing something in Life, if you don't then why argue? To defend your american/canadian/european right to ignorance? Sad.

What is sad is that Kevin might be believe anything he is told as
long as it bolsters an argument made on behalf of his lifestyle choice.
Why don't we drop it Kevin. I wish to remain ingnorant of my ignorance.
I can't take all this soul searching right after dinner.

I know you want me to take you seriously but I can't. Not if
anti-semitism and Burger King have something in common in your mind.

Stuart Gort

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