|Yes Robert, there are lots of straw men being thrown around here. Not one person on this site has advocated torture and suffering for its own sake against another animal. |
Your post from a while back (#16) which generated an unfavorable response was grossly misunderstood. Clearly, you were simply stating that:
A- Humans have the right to utilize other animals as a material resource, and, more specifically,
B- You feel no guilt about it
In my view, it can't be rationally argued that you were suggesting anything other than the above. If somebody disagrees, they should argue their case rationally rather than resorting to unwarranted personal attacks and straw man arguments.
My guess is that we don't see any substantial arguments to the contrary since such arguments wouldn't be much different than those advocated PETA and the animal rights movement at large (mainly that a capacity for pain and suffering is a basis for some sort of protection), and thus at odds with Objectivism.
Also, your point about kids who mutilate and/or kill animals is dead on (no pun intended). It is actually very common for young boys to engage in behavior that is cruel towards animals, and the overwhelming majority of those that do this do not grow up to be monsters. I confess to catching a frog as a boy and blowing it up with a firecracker. I was in the in the company of other boys, and the act was motivated by a desire to be seen as daring or rebellious in the eyes of my peers. I was trying to "impress" them. I was probably about 11 or 12 years old at the time. I soon recognized, though, that these acts were very wrong, and I of course no longer inflict any purposeless suffering on other living things. The bottom line is that many if not most kids engage in cruel behavior at some point, and abusing animals is simply one variation on this theme.
The kids who I would put on a "watch list" of sorts would be those who have a near obsession with devising new ways of torturing and killing animals for its own sake, and particularly those who engage in this behavior by themselves (as opposed to in the context of a social group of rebellious kids). If my memory serves me correctly, this is the sort of behavior the young Dahmer practiced.
(Edited by Pete on 11/21, 9:38pm)