Author Topic: "Most of the creatures suffer most of the time."  (Read 3495 times)

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Offline james

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"Most of the creatures suffer most of the time."
« on: June 26, 2010, 02:04:03 PM »
In the FAQ section ("But life is not only suffer, there are good parts in life too"), you stated that "Most of the creatures suffer most of the time."
http://only-one-solution.net/faq/but_life_is_not_only_suffer_there_are_good_parts_too.html

Is there a place in the website where  you explain/give-details how did you come up with this conclusion?
I didn't find such place.

Your answer to the claim "But life is not only suffer, there are good parts in life too" contains a human example but this example does not indicate the suffering percentage of the creature during his daily life. This person might be miserable but still it doesn't mean he/she will suffer most of the time (and you recognize that: "Of course it doesn’t mean she can’t be happy").

I understand why slaved ants can be categorized as creatures who suffer most of the time. But a random insect? I assume that to most of the insects it takes time until their "15-60 minutes of hell" (their death journey), time in which they do not suffer.

I'm not claiming by any means that if most creatures do not suffer most of the time, that the solution to the suffering problem should be a different one than the one given in your website.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 05:57:16 AM by O.O.S »

Offline E.A.S

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Re: "Most of the creatures suffer most of the time."
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 05:27:06 AM »
The spermatozoon guided imagination is more of an analogue and its purpose is not to prove that humans suffer most of the time but to be kind of a spring board to demonstrate how horrible the lives of the average non-humans are through getting a very short glimpse on the human condition.
The reason why the human examples do not indicate the suffering percentage of the creature during their daily life is since it is obviously impossible and I am sure it is clear to you.
I am sure that most of the people in these conditions probably do suffer most of their time, but that’s besides the point anyway since we haven’t stated such a claim.
This is a statement I am making here and it wasn’t written in the relevant answer in the FAQ and it is my personal opinion based on my own interpretation of the human condition.

In your question you say that our answer "…contains a human example but this example does not indicate the suffering percentage of the creature during his daily life. This person might be miserable but still it doesn't mean he/she will suffer most of the time (and you recognize that: "Of course it doesn’t mean she can’t be happy")."
Once again you choose to take the text out of context since the full version is: "There is a 50% chance it will be a woman. Of course it doesn’t mean she can’t be happy, but it means she will be automatically and systematically discriminated against for her entire life just because of her gender."

It is much more reasonable to focus on the fact that we are in the third millennium and still women, half of the human population, are systematically and automatically discriminated against all over the world including what is referred as the developed  world where the discrimination deceivingly takes place only in the economic and  political spheres but it actually is expressed above or underground in every surface.
In the article about women (that we highly recommend you to watch/read) we naturally focused on women living in parts of the world where they are an absolute property of the males. But it is not just the obvious women rights violations such as imposed dress codes, the appalling female genital mutilation inflicted on millions of young girls, the denial of the right to vote, to maintain assents and to marry whom they desire, or being formally and officially men's properties. The discrimination and exploitation is everywhere. For every "unenlightened" society in which certain professions are formally prohibited to women, there are many societies that culturally and subliminally prohibit other or even the same professions and also social and political positions from women.
It is not just the obvious and the formal discrimination that supposedly happens only in unenlightened societies, it is the fact that every woman in every culture feels like a sex object during her lifetime no matter where she lives.
One of every 3 women has, at some point in her life, been the victim of sexual assault, physical or psychological. Worldwide, one out of every 4 women is raped during her lifetime.
The combination of sexual attraction and a physical predominance of men put women in a continuous worry. Women don’t feel safe. As simple and primitive as that.
This world is so violent and power based that many women carry with them safeguards such as tear gas spray or electrical shocker.
They don’t feel safe being alone at night in dark areas even in their own neighborhood and in many cases they don’t feel safe even in their own homes.
What can be more basic than that?

In some parts of the world women probably suffer most of the time and in some probably not, but despite the differences the whole world is still chauvinist and patriarchal and I think that should be the focus in that particular sentence.

And speaking about what is called the developed world, we considered in the past creating an article about the suffering of the average human in these societies which as opposed to the existing materials focusing on poverty, hunger, modern slavery, living in conflict zones, under totalitarian or theocratic regimes and etc would be focusing on life under constant stress, the prevalence of mental disorders, anxieties, eating disorders, social and self disassociation, drugs, alcohol, food and adrenalin addictions, levels and prevalence of emotional dysfunction in modern urban societies, existential problems and despair and of course depression. And the point of this article is to show that if humans don’t daily struggle to survive, most will suffer from one of the above if not several on some level.

You wrote: "I understand why slaved ants can be categorized as creatures who suffer most of the time. But a random insect? I assume that to most of the insects it takes time until their "15-60 minutes of hell" (their death journey), time in which they do not suffer."

The way we see it, the difference between ants who are chemically drugged to be slaves and every other creature is that it is much easier to observe it. However principally all the creatures are chemically drugged to act in a certain way and all are trapped in their chemical prison we call body, which is full of substances that actually call the shots and make everyone harmful and vulnerable at the same time. All the creatures are victims trapped for life to live under the nonconciliatory biological imperative and the differences are mostly perceptual not conceptual. It is easier to identify the ants as the ultimate victims but the rest of the creatures are victims of their horrible chemical plant (body) as well, slaves of the hellish mechanism called life with its infamous super purposes survival and reproduction which justify all means.
Every moment involves with the concern of not getting food, in the satiated moments it is the fear of not becoming food, constantly worrying about temperature and the fear to lose the cave, hole, branch, burrow, den, bush, tree and etc. and when all these daily worries are absent it’s probably because the sex chemicals took control and with them comes plenty of violence, sexual frustration for many males and rape for many females. Excluding sentientless creatures, that is more or less existence for most of the creatures most of the time, including the random insect that you mentioned. The same principles and mechanisms are operated on insects so unfortunately we must assume that the same goes for the random insect. They too live a life of meaningless, randomness and sisyphean pursuit after food, shelter, the chance to mate and the constant avoid of predators and diseases.

Are you familiar with the study called Distress in Animals: Is it Fear, Pain or Physical Stress? One of its conclusions is that fear is a stronger sense than pain in some species (maybe all of them) since it is a primal and more primitive sense and since they observed how suffering from pain is overpowered, and sometimes and in some species, overridden with fear.
In their words: "Fear is an old primitive emotion and the authors speculate that fear may cause suffering further down the phylogenetic scale than pain”.

This article is made by scientists from the Department of Animal Science and it is based on dozens if not hundreds of extremely violent and invasive experiments so I prefer not to quote from it and I ask to forewarn that it is very very hard to read. Moreover Temple Grandin, one of the article’s authors, is a world famous expert on "farm animals". She probably calls her job improving farm animals’ welfare but we know it is improving the farmers’ welfare on their expense as she is constantly working on methods to efficient factory farms.

The general importance of this article is the sciencification (to the ones who feel they need it for that matter) of animals’ capability of suffering and the refute of the assumption that the capacity of suffering is related to the size and complexity of the brain, as some scientists still believe that small brained animals feel less pain and potentially suffering less than animals with larger more complex brains. "This paper refutes these claims and explains the concept that all hierarchical levels of the nervous system are built according to the same functional principles."

The relevant importance to our discussion is:
"Fear operates in a more primitive subcortical brain circuit than pain. When the cortex is removed, an animal will no longer suffer from pain but it can still learn a conditional fear response. A review of the literature indicated that prefrontal cortex activation tends to increase pain perception but reduce fear responses. Fear is extremely aversive and it is likely that it causes suffering in all vertebrates and possibly invertebrates…"
And:
"Fear operates in a low more primitive brain system than pain. The prefrontal cortex which is the most highly evolved brain region helps an animal to control its reactions to fear provoking stimuli, but heightens pain perception. It has the opposite effect on pain and fear."
This may indicate that animals with less complex brains suffer from fear more than they suffer from pain and suffer from fear more than animals with more complex brains.

Another important issue that I read somewhere else is that in creatures who don’t possess any defense means such as horns, claws, strong teeth, glands who spray stink or burning chemicals and etc. the fear is actually their only defense mechanism and so they are much more sensitive to dangers than ones who can somehow defend themselves. In other words when you don’t have a "flight or fight" but just a flight the whole mechanism is probably more fidgety.
I don’t know how insects feel and neither do you or anybody else but if this information is correct it is a living hell.

Now is there a sensible but fearless creature in this world?
The agony of death is unfortunately only part of the suffering creatures endure in their life time especially if you consider the conclusion of this study. And even if you don’t, as a conscientious and caring person you understand how horrible it is to fear no matter if it is stronger or not than pain. It is not only the horrible dying experience, the fear of death can be and probably is worse than death.

In the manifest and in the FAQ and mostly in the non-speciesist suffering article we tried to give examples of the daily routine of animals in what people call nature (and oddly and unfortunately refer to as an ideal moral model) and not necessarily the predation and killing moments.

And all of this brings me to ask you why does your question matters?
In the end of the answer to the mentioned question in the FAQ there is a rhetorical question that goes as follows:
"What kind of a world do you prefer?
A world in which there is not even one suffering creature (not to mention hundreds of billions), and a much lower number of creatures that life and pleasure were prevented from them but they are not aware of that because they were never even born (it is not as if they are sitting somewhere frustrated, pity themselves over what they have missed. They were never born, therefore don’t know what was deprived of them, good or bad).
Or a world in which billions of creatures are daily tortured in order that a much smaller amount of creatures will be able to live comfortably, procreate and enjoy themselves?"


From the last sentence of your comment I guess that your answer to the above quoted question is a world in which there is not even one suffering creature. So it is not supposed to matter.

Anyway to answer your question, yes, there is a place in the website where we explain/give-details how did we come up with this conclusion and it is mainly the non-speciesist suffering article:
Firefox - http://onlyonesolution.net/multimedia-articles/non_speciesist_suffer_ff.html
Internet explorer - http://onlyonesolution.net/multimedia-articles/non_speciesist_suffer.html
which is supposed to give you an idea of what life is for most of the creatures. Of course it gives examples and not a statistical calculation of the suffering of the all the creatures that exist, but I am pretty sure that unless you really insist on not getting the picture, you will after watching/reading it.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 03:32:47 AM by O.O.S »

Offline james

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Re: "Most of the creatures suffer most of the time."
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 01:13:28 PM »
Again, thank you for the detailed answer.

1. Sorry I was taking text out of context. I my self thought it was not out of context. My bad.

2.
"From the last sentence of your comment I guess that your answer to the above quoted question is a world in which there is not even one suffering creature. So it is not supposed to matter.

Anyway to answer your question, yes, there is a place in the website where we explain/give-details how did we come up with this conclusion and it is mainly the non-speciesist suffer article... ".


Correct and I did read in the past the non-speciesist suffer article (in my mind, unless I missed it, it does not answer the point I was referring too. I think your current message deals with it and presents a strong case for its correctness). I was curious about this point because if it does true, it will make this website's  case much stronger to many activists. This, because one of the common arguments against your solution is that many creatures will still choose to live again should they have been given the choice after their death.


3. I hope you realized by now that my opinions are pretty much like yours. My messages on the board have a purpose to make your argument clearer and stronger - for me and for others.

Offline Earth to Venus

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Re: "Most of the creatures suffer most of the time."
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 02:06:37 AM »
There is a very important example in that article that really stroked me when I first read it. It became even sadder for me every time I bumped into stray cats ever since. I guess you didn’t quote it because it relates to experiments but I think it’s worth it

"When animals are faced with prolonged stressors, a pattern of nervous and hormonal activity produces a variety of physiological changes which help the animal adapt. In assessing criteria for suffering, psychological stress which is fear stress, should be considered as important as suffering induced by pain. Bateson and Bradshaw (1997) studied the physiological effects of hunted red deer and found that deer hunted by hounds were subjected to great physiological stress, compared to non hunted deer cleanly shot by professional hunters. The study found that the blood and muscles of the deer were damaged, but the authors neglected to fully discuss the damage caused by psychological stress. The cortisol levels in the hound hunted deer were very high and they never mentioned the word fear. Beringer, et al (1996) found that 12% of white tailed deer captured with a rocket net die within 26 days. Fear stress is highly aversive and subjecting an animal to intense fear stress would be very detrimental to welfare (Grandin, 1997)."

Another two examples on cows and chickens:
"Fear has a powerful ability to override pain in the chicken. The work by Gentle and Corr (1995) shows that a chicken that was pain guarding by holding it’s leg up will stop pain guarding when it is placed in a scary novel place. When electric shocks are used as an aversive stimulus on cattle, the effects of fear can not be separated from pain. When wild cattle that are not accustomed to handling are held in a restraining device for branding, the fear stress induced by restraint will raise their cortisol levels almost as high as the hot iron branding."

And if I am already in quoting and you were already in the mechanism of life, I felt that my favorite paragraph from the manifest is missing from your reply so unoriginally another quote:

We see things through binoculars and tend to think in terms of purposes and goals, even when there are none. In life there is no such thing as a purpose. Things simply occur. Just as there is no purpose behind a chemical reaction, burning of sugar for instance, there is no purpose behind birthing, metabolism and DNA duplication. It started out as basic organic chemistry, and along billions of years acquired more and more complexity. One of those "upgrades" was the ability to suffer, feel pain and fear. That’s life. Technical chemical mechanism. Animals are the victims of chemistry.
It is too inherent, too obvious for you to ignore. Suffer, violence and death are inherent parts of life and no one can really avoid them.”

 

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