Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

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Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

Postby speising » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:21 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Does the dogs' rights to life and well being take precedence over your (impersonal you, here) right to take pleasure (and potential monetary gain from gambling) in their fighting? (or vice versa, however you want to phrase the question.) Yes. Clearly yes.

[justification for tautology needed]

What about robot fights? Is the destruction of robots in violent fights amoral? If not, then why is it amoral for animals?

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Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

Postby Whizbang » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:42 pm UTC

Because of pain and death. Robots, to the best of our knowledge, do not experience pain or death.

This presupposes a default of pain and death being bad, of course. Justification would be needed to accept pain and/or death as morally good (eg. defending others from pain and death, pain of surgery, etc.), but generally pain and death are to be avoided if possible.

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Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

Postby speising » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:52 pm UTC

Sure, but it's only an animal. We accept pain and death in animals, and even humans, for various reasons. The thrill of the fight and the pleasure of the win can be ample justification.

You did not present a convincing argument that the welfare of dogs is to be preferred over the human's gain, except by assertion.

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Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

Postby Whizbang » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:04 pm UTC

The system I presented/proposed is one of iterating through justification to permit or restrict the action. I glossed over a lot, to be sure.

The tree would look something like this (though even this is grossly simplified):

All human actions are permitted
    Except when:
    • The action causes pain or death to a living, feeling entity
      Except when:
      • Healing the individual
      • The death of a non-human saves the life of a human or humans
        Except when:
        • Some reason
      • The death is used to the benefit of humans
        Except when:
        • The death is excessively painful or cruel
          Except when
          • Some reason
        • The death is needless
          Except when:
          • Avoiding or preventing the death causes undue stress or hardship on humans

    And so on and so on with nested exceptions until the line is too fine to practically draw or where not enough justification is presented to override the standing rule.

    Yes I asserted, but morals are all assertions at some point. I am saying that somewhere in the vastly complex tree of morals, Dog Fighting meets the justification to restrict it because it is excessively pailful and cruel and doesn't meet the justification to permit it due to human benefit or whatever. Other cases of humans causing death or pain to non-humans are interesting to the discussion because comparing and contrasting these scenarios provides insight as to why dog fighting should be permitted or restricted, but these other cases can't be used as justification because they may in fact be immoral but humans in general haven't put forth the effort to determine its immoral state and/or restrict the action.

    I assert that dog fighting rests in a restrictive state due to excessive pain and cruelty and that the burden of justifying permission hasn't been adequately provided.

    Eating cows, at the moment for the majority of Americans at least, rests in a permissive state due to benefits to a large number of humans, but justification hasn't been adequately presented to restrict it. This is arguable, of course. But as I said, it is separate from Dog Fighting and may in fact be immoral.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby speising » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:45 pm UTC

    Nah, it's still tautologic unless you can define "excessively" and/or "needless".
    Sorry, the rabbit hole goes deeper still.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby PAstrychef » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:37 pm UTC

    Even treating animals as things in the meat industry isn't as abhorrent as dogfighting. Dog fighting trains one dog to kill another animal for the sport and entertainment of humans. The dogs are most emphatetically NOT things. They are effectively enslaved individuals used to harm others. It's closer to the way child soldiers are forced to kill than even semi-humane slaughter.
    At a more basic level, causing unnecessary pain is wrong.
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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:29 am UTC

    Just out of curiosity, what is your opinion of, say, turkey vs chicken? That is, are they equally ethical, or is turkey farming more ethical because you kill fewer animals per pound of meat? And if turkey is more ethical, is beef more ethical in spite of cows being smarter than turkeys? How many turkeys are worth the life of one cow? And can we extend this to whales, where for every whale we kill we spare 200 cows?

    I actually don't have an answer to all of these, though I do hold to the belief that turkey is more ethical than chicken.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:32 pm UTC

    Chicken boxing is a thing that exists. I do not know how to respond to this information.

    Funny source: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/48f1qs/th ... ckfighting
    Newspaper: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... ng/360306/
    Law: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocum ... 20Rejected

    CorruptUser wrote:Just out of curiosity, what is your opinion of, say, turkey vs chicken?

    Spoiler:
    Turkey tastes better; there are more ways to cook chicken than turkey. 1:1

    Turkey makes you sleepy; a push because this could be good or bad thing depending on context) 2:2

    Cock-a-doodle-doo is hard to spell; cock-a-doodle-doo has historically helped humanity by awakening farmers. 3:3

    Gobble gobble sound funnier to say; it is more impressive to accurately do a cock-a-doodle-doo. 4:4

    Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national symbol; chickens have more cultural significance. 5:5

    Turkeys have a funnier looking red thing on their head; chickens are easier to draw. 6:6

    Turkey's are the symbol of a national holiday; chicken's have more cultural importance. 7:7

    Gangs of wild turkeys can pose a threat to public safety; a push because this is really awesome, but is still a public threat 8:8

    The only tie breaker that I can think of is which can beat the other in a fight (as a species) in the wild. If anyone has any information on the global effects of turkeys and/ or chickens as an invasive species, please post it here.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby Whizbang » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:57 pm UTC

    CorruptUser wrote:Just out of curiosity, what is your opinion of, say, turkey vs chicken? That is, are they equally ethical, or is turkey farming more ethical because you kill fewer animals per pound of meat? And if turkey is more ethical, is beef more ethical in spite of cows being smarter than turkeys? How many turkeys are worth the life of one cow? And can we extend this to whales, where for every whale we kill we spare 200 cows?

    I actually don't have an answer to all of these, though I do hold to the belief that turkey is more ethical than chicken.


    Caught up in the ethical query regarding farming various animals for food is the impact on the environment. Chicken/Turkey farming has a much smaller impact on the environment, both in resources needed to raise the animal as well as things like methane emissions. Also, there is the health benefits/risks to humans who eat them. Chicken is healthier to eat on a regular basis.

    I think chickens and turkeys are more ethical than cows, though only at the scale of the industries of today. At a scale of a single family, a cow can be much better for quality of life for the family and not impact the environment overly much.

    In Chicken vs Turkey, I have no idea. I prefer to eat chicken. Turkey tastes meh to me.

    Raising chickens for food vs dogs for fighting seems clear to me, however. For one thing, dogs have, to the best of our knowledge, much more intelligence and capacity for emotion. Cock fighting and Dog Fighting both, to me, are immoral because of the needless cruelty of it. Farming chickens vs farming dogs I lean in favor of chickens and against dogs, mostly because of the mental capacity. Though this line isn't sufficient in farming pigs vs farming dogs. I have no clear answer for that. Farming pigs may be immoral, though social convention allows me to eat pig but be unsettled by eating dog. Same with cows.

    Still, I assert that dog fighting is a clear immorality. The line between farming an animal and breeding for fighting seems fairly thick to me.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:51 pm UTC

    China eats dogs in a few isolated locations. Sort of like eating rabbit or gator in the US. It's only abhorrent to us because dogs are traditionally pets and pigs are traditionally food, so it's a classic example of cultural relativism.

    However, the saving grace for dogs is that they hunted and fought alongside us, and it's "wrong" to eat your fellow soldier. For this reason as well, horses are off the menu. Cows? Well, sure, they help us plow the fields and pull wagons, but they don't fight alongside us. They are slaves, not fellow warriors, so eat up. Except in India, but they get around that by eating bison instead, even though bison and cows are almost the same species* it's totally not beef you guys.

    *They willingly mate with cattle but only the female offspring will be fertile, so they are barely separate species

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby Zohar » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:11 pm UTC

    CorruptUser wrote:However, the saving grace for dogs is that they hunted and fought alongside us, and it's "wrong" to eat your fellow soldier.

    How about cats, rats, peacocks, butterflies, snakes, lizards, dolphins, or pretty much any animal we don't eat that hasn't been some sort of mystic warrior figure beside us?
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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:05 pm UTC

    Horse isn't off the menu in many places, though?

    Like, you pay lipservice to cultural relativism, and then promptly act like everyone is as opposed to eating horse as most Americans are.
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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:26 pm UTC

    It varies by culture; was just explaining why it's not on the menu in most places.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby Zohar » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:34 pm UTC

    So, again, why don't we eat cats in the US?
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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:08 pm UTC

    A combination of: we keep them as pets, they traditionally had uses for pest control, they are cute, and they are obligate carnivores and thus wasteful to grow for meat.

    Oh, and we can emotionally relate to cats and dogs. Supposedly.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby speising » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:12 pm UTC

    They say carnivore meat doesn't taste very good, and i believe there's a risk of getting prion deseases.
    While pigs are omnivores and could probably pose the same problems, they are usually fed a vegetarian diet.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:20 pm UTC

    I think carnivore meat not tasting good would have an evolutionary advantage; more likely to have tapeworms and such.

    As for livestock, mad cow disease only spread because diseased cows were fed to other cows, so I'd imagine that pigs get an occasional meat waste product in their diet too.

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:43 pm UTC

    CorruptUser wrote:It varies by culture; was just explaining why it's not on the menu in most places.
    I know that's what you were trying to do.

    But if your explanation doesn't actually have any explanatory power, such as because it doesn't line up with which cultures actually do or don't eat horse meat, then it's a shit explanation.

    speising wrote:They say carnivore meat doesn't taste very good, and i believe there's a risk of getting prion deseases.
    While pigs are omnivores and could probably pose the same problems, they are usually fed a vegetarian diet.
    They may be fed mostly vegetarian diets in modern industrial pig farms, but my understanding was that historically they were kept as a fantastic way of turning food waste back into food, and said waste would definitely have included a fair amount of animal products.
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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby morriswalters » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:14 am UTC

    Zohar wrote:So, again, why don't we eat cats in the US?
    We aren't hungry enough?

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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby Zohar » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:56 am UTC

    CorruptUser wrote:A combination of: we keep them as pets, they traditionally had uses for pest control, they are cute, and they are obligate carnivores and thus wasteful to grow for meat.

    Oh, and we can emotionally relate to cats and dogs. Supposedly.

    You still haven't convinced me the loyal soldier thing is a thing (for example horse meat is eaten in Europe where they fought with horses quite a bit).
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    Re: Why is dog fighting morally wrong?

    Postby Flintstone » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:28 am UTC

    I might have just missed it, but I don't think anyone has mentioned an important point: Many dogs WANT to fight. It can take all your effort to stop two dogs killing each other. So if we're getting into morality, we need to consider an alternative situation:

    If two dogs meet in the street, then greet each other with violence, is it wrong to watch or consider it interesting? Are you required to go up and break the dogs' fight at personal risk?

    In general, I would not get involved in a dogs' fight, unless I knew one of the dogs (in a friendly sense). If you get into a stray dogs' fight, you might get bit, and get rabies, and bite someone else, and start a minor zombie apocalypse in your district.

    Now, an organized dog fighting sport? Those are often to the death, when dogs might normally stop the fight before death. And generally, the animals are abused, locked up all the rest of the time, and live generally cruel lives until their deaths. The animals are often abused and taught to be violent, for the sake of a better dog fight. This makes them very aggressive and dangerous, so that if they escaped or if they are rescued training the hate and abuse out of them is a great challenge. So dog fighting creates risks and expenses for humans in addition to the cruelty of animals.

    Do to others as you would have them do to you. Don't think that doesn't apply here, as there are people who love their dogs more than they love other humans. And how you'd want them to treat you, applies.


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