Re: Extropians and animal rights

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 13:15:51 -0500

Ian Goddard wrote:

> I wrote:

> >However, you are talking about mice and I am talking about men. ...
> IAN: In the case of man, there's a good supply
> of alternatives to the theory that rural people
> are less criminal since they kill more animals.
> On reason that people may become more violent
> when crowded is simply because they want to push
> others out of their way, and one way to do that
> is push them out of life. Perhaps that response
> is more of a "population control" instinct than
> the arising of a "repressed-hunting instinct."
> Of course, interesting to observe, carnivorism
> arises in some varieties of frog tadpole, where
> some of the tadpoles eat their noncarnivorous
> siblings! That might work with your theory.?

Possibly there are many similarities with behavior in lion prides, wolf packs, dolphin pods, etc. The chimps are also great homicidal maniacs.

> > [mice and men] are distinct species with different behaviors.
> IAN: That mice and men appear to respond in
> the same way (more violent when crowded) is
> a good indicator of a useful analogy, which
> is why they cited the study showing that on
> some program I've seen on "over population."

However, men are nowhere near as cannibalistic as mice and rats are. This in and of itself is a significant qualifier.

> In that mouse study, it seems plausible to
> say that depravation of hunting was not a
> causal factor in the observed increase in
> aggression upon crowding, since noncrowded
> mice in the laboratory were not (I assume)
> hunting for food, but eating the very same
> lab-rat chow that the crowded mice ate.

I'm not denying that there is a density effect. However, US cities have far lower population densities than many other cities, in both Japan, China, Germany, France, and England, yet have higher crime rates. If it were merely crowding, I'd expect violent crime to be far higher in the denser cities. Granted we have more guns available (even though they are banned in the cities with the highest crime rates!), but the incidence of mental illness as well is not noticably higher in denser cities, which has nothing to do with guns. I think that no human cities are anywhere near the crowding levels necessary for the rat/mouse effect in the study to be as pronounced.

> IAN: I'd say humans are pretty "domesticated" too.

THe herbivorous ones certainly are. Then again, even Hitler was a vegetarian.....I would not call hem domesticated by any stretch of the imagination.

> >
> >Yes, very. However notice how much they've (gorillas) evolved into a niche that
> cannot
> >tolerate violence, and is probably what will cause them to become extinct,
> even if
> >not by the hands of man. Same with the orangutan.
> IAN: Yes, and I agree. It could be possible
> to maintain the theory that survival goes to
> those beings that can most effectively and
> casually kill other beings, such that
> "socio-pathic" brutality and murder are
> the keys to success in life, and I think
> that grim view is only bolstered by humans.
> I believe it's inherently true that those
> with the most guns "win"; they rule the
> nations and write the laws and history,
> and thus "might makes right" = reality.

I've never said that might doesn't make right, just that it is a derivation and member of the overall set of natural law. Because of this, might makes right, rightly, only in support of the rights in the rest of natural law. Subjectivists deny the existence of natural law because they want to write and control ALL rights themselves.

Mike Lorrey