Re: PHIL: Is it ethical to create special purpose sentients?

Ron Kean (
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 04:00:37 -0500

On Tue, 2 Mar 1999 22:05:07 EST writes:


Is it okay to enslave something so long as it is
>understand and/or desire freedom?

There is no obvious answer. Our culture frowns on gratuitous cruelty to animals, but accepts slavery of animals. Even cruelty is accepted if it is for a worthwhile purpose such as medical research, safety research, or product development and testing.

Or maybe it is wrong to have
>animals, making them serve our whims and needs, linking them to us
>breeding them into a perpetual childlike state, and "putting down"
>any >domestic that goes "feral".

Various domestic animals are intentionally or unintentionally selectively bred for characteristics we value, but it is difficult to 'blame' any particular individual for that, since the process takes so long, and most pet owners do not even do that intentionally. It is understandable that the average person would prefer a domestic cat as a pet over a bobcat or a rat.

Ferrets have become somewhat popular as pets even though there is no lengthy history of them being kept and bred. Cats, in contrast, have been kept for 5,000 years, and dogs for longer.

Ron Kean




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