new photo blog

i started this blog in 2006, and it's shifted along with my interests through the years. it's been witness to a lot of learning for me...

still, i feel that i need a home for my photography -- so from now on, i'll be posting my pictures on the journal on my reworked website. if you like my photos, you might decide to follow me there!

my first post is here -- check it out!

as for this blog, i'm not sure what will happen. i don't think i'm willing to let it go, and certainly i'll keep it as an archive, but i need some time to figure it out.

for those of you that pop in from time to time, thanks for the visits and encouragement.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

richard dawkins on pain

but can they suffer?


most of us nowadays believe that dogs and other non-human mammals can feel pain, and no reputable scientist today would follow descartes’ and harvey’s horrific example and dissect a living mammal without anaesthetic. british law, among others, would severely punish them if they did (although invertebrates are not so well protected, not even large-brained octopuses). nevertheless, most of us seem to assume, without question, that the capacity to feel pain is positively correlated with mental dexterity – with the ability to reason, think, reflect and so on. my purpose here is to question that assumption. i see no reason at all why there should be a positive correlation. pain feels primal, like the ability to see colour or hear sounds. it feels like the sort of sensation you don’t need intellect to experience. feelings carry no weight in science but, at the very least, shouldn’t we give the animals the benefit of the doubt?


continue reading on on RDFRS

actually, when i first read dawkins' thoughts on pain (one of his books -- perhaps TGD?) this thinking was news to me... i never imagined that some people thought that animals couldn't feel pain.

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