On Feb 28, 2020 [deleted] wrote: “
From Galileo I learned that you cannot improve that which you do not measure…”
What had to be “measured” to “improve” on slavery, or the subjugation of women? Some wrongs are obvious, if you just look; and what needs “improving” is human behavior, not measurements.
“ignorance and apathy perpetuates the moral relativism typical of modern agricultural systems…”
The ignorance, apathy and moral relativism are those of individual human cerebra, not “systems,” which feel nothing.
“I think I can do more for animal welfare working from a complex adaptive system approach than by doing what they call ‘research on welfare’…”
Let us cut to the quick on this: Are you a vegan activist?
If not, your disposition toward “measuring” a “complex adaptive system” — in place of ceasing to harm animals and devoting yourself to inspiring everyone else to do likewise — is just cognitive dissonance (which is itself worthy of measuring and modelling: but it always transpires in individual human cerebra, not in “complex adaptive systems” — which, again, are not sentient).
(I will come back to “research on welfare” at the end.)
“… the utilitarian conception of life throughout time and… its foundations… for western civilizations… Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Rousseau, James George Frazer…”
Utilitarianism is counting. Just counting. Machines can count. But machines are not sentient. “Welfare” is a sanitized, self-deluding word. The right word is suffering.
Utilitarians can say “measure and minimize suffering” — as if most of it were not obvious. But if utilitarians can theorize (“measure and model”) while munching on the leg of a lamb, they are simply engaging in a pious exercise in cognitive dissonance.
“If you think this rudimentary idea is a waste of your time, please let me know, as the only thing I want to know is whether I am wrong…
This is not about the rightness or wrongness of a complex theory about a complex system but the rightness or wrongness of actions — which, in the case of what is being done to countless sentient organisms by our “complex agricultural system” every second of every minute of every day, everywhere in the “anthropocene,” is pre-theoretically and a-theoretically obvious to anyone who looks.
(Which is why I think that what is needed is to look, not just to count. Just counting — “measure and minimize suffering” — takes the “system” for granted, and tries to “improve” it. That is “welfarism“: “Keep on using and killing animals, but try to hurt them less.” And that, in turn, is again just cognitive dissonance.)
I hope that while you keep measuring, you will keep thinking, and looking. Eventually you will begin feeling; and then you will know what needs to be done.