Guilty Until Proven Innocent

A false verdict guilty verdict subjects a person to undeserved suffering.
A false judgment that other animals are robotic subjects them to underserved suffering.

A false innocent verdict is an instance of giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
A false sentient/conscious verdict is an instance of giving an animal the benefit of the doubt.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
A false sentient/conscious verdict is an instance of giving an animal the benefit of the doubt.
So should we sign them up for kindergarten next fall?

In science, the default position is not to theorize until some information is known. So there is no "guilty until proven innocent" or "innocent until proven guilty." You gather some data, then interpret it and construct a theory around it.

I think your position is just as presumptive as you seem to think the opposite position is.

And sorry, but whether a cow is sentient or not, I'm having a cheesburger for lunch tomorrow.
 
Originally posted by russ_watters
So should we sign them up for kindergarten next fall?
I did not say anything of the sort. Criteria for that would include be the amount of intelligence you have and the ability to have information communicated to you from the teacher.

In science, the default position is not to theorize until some information is known. So there is no "guilty until proven innocent" or "innocent until proven guilty." You gather some data, then interpret it and construct a theory around it.
I'm not talking about scientific consensus; I'm talking about an idea that is shared by many people. People just assume that animals are robotic because it makes life simpler for them.

I think your position is just as presumptive as you seem to think the opposite position is.
Which position? My position that the animal-robot idea is "guilty until proven innocent" or my position that animals are conscious and sentient? How is it so presumptive?
 
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan

1.feel

... responsive to or conscious of sense impressions
2.AWARE
1 Important. 2. Important as philosophic argument.

I doesn't make any sense saying animals don't have these senses. And I don't see how the majority of science would think otherwise(considering major scientific studies assumpting that they do, as DD mentioned), and at least there gotto be few serious philosophers who think they don't have. The question of awareness and feelings are of a much more philosophic matter, it hasn't been proven scientific, maybe never will.

It's about time we move from a silly discussion that animals are robotic or not. If we need to proove ourself better than the animals, let's proove it by, at the least, try to eat the least advanced and loving lifeform.
 
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russ_watters

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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Which position? My position that the animal-robot idea is "guilty until proven innocent" or my position that animals are conscious and sentient? How is it so presumptive?
Assuming that animals are conscious and sentient without evidence one way or another is presumptive - thats pretty much the definition of the word. The "guilty until proven innocent" is just not giving people enough credit for having thought through their opinions.

[later] heh - looking "presumptive" up in the dictionary, it does not follow from "presume." Strange. Anyway, what I was going for was "to asume to be true without evidence."

In a court of law, a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty partially for the purpose of strength of proof but also partially to set a default position until the evidence can be heard. You and I have evidence on which to base our opinions, so I don't see any need to assume it, we just have to choose our standard of proof.
 
Originally posted by russ_watters
Assuming that animals are conscious and sentient without evidence one way or another is presumptive - thats pretty much the definition of the word.
Well, I do have evidence. The evidence is really overwhelming for anyone who cares to analyze it objectively.

The "guilty until proven innocent" is just not giving people enough credit for having thought through their opinions.
I'm not sure of what, exactly, who mean here or how it relates to the discussion.

In a court of law, a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty partially for the purpose of strength of proof but also partially to set a default position until the evidence can be heard. You and I have evidence on which to base our opinions, so I don't see any need to assume it, we just have to choose our standard of proof.
Do you think that anyone has had strong enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that other species are not capable of consciousness and feeling?
 

selfAdjoint

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Do you think that anyone has had strong enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that other species are not capable of consciousness and feeling?
Feeling yes, consciousness, not obviously so. Animals can feel and remember and have aims, but that doesn't add up to consciousness.

I think yoiu have to have at least the capability for language to be conscious. You may not have language itself (Helen Keller before Miss Sullivan broke through to her) but the capability is linked to things going on in your head that are a necessary part of consciousness (evidence, introspection. Look for yourself).
 
Originally posted by selfAdjoint
Feeling yes, consciousness, not obviously so. Animals can feel and remember and have aims, but that doesn't add up to consciousness.

I think yoiu have to have at least the capability for language to be conscious. You may not have language itself (Helen Keller before Miss Sullivan broke through to her) but the capability is linked to things going on in your head that are a necessary part of consciousness (evidence, introspection. Look for yourself).
Oops. You accidentally misread my question.

The question is: "Do you think that anyone has had strong enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that other species are not capable of consciousness and feeling?"

The question is the opposite of what you thought I was asking.
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You and I have very different definitions of consciousness. Yours just seems to be "having a certain level of intelligence". I define consciousness as the ability to have subjective experiences and be cognizant of things. Linguistic abilities is not a precondition for this.

My definition seems to be more in line with the webster.com definition:
Main Entry: con·scious·ness
Pronunciation: -n&s
Function: noun
Date: 1632
1 a : the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself b : the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact c : AWARENESS; especially : concern for some social or political cause
2 : the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought : MIND
3 : the totality of conscious states of an individual
4 : the normal state of conscious life <regained consciousness>
5 : the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes
 

selfAdjoint

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What, in detail, do you mean by "subjective experiences". That is really the nub. An animal has inner experiences, but are they subjective? That suggests to me a clear sense of self, which I more or less identify with (human) consciousness.
 
Actually, "Subjective experiences" is really redundant, because all experiences are subjective. A computer does not have experiences, but a person does. You have sensory perception. You feel happy or sad, excited or drowsy, etc.
 

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