Essays on reducing suffering

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Essays on reducing suffering

But at least the bee's world is very visual and capable of being imagined. Some creatures live in sensory worlds that are much harder to access. Spiders that hunt at night live in a world dominated by the detection of faint vibration and of the tiniest flows of air that allow them to see fly passing by in pitch darkness.

Sensory hairs that cover their body give them a sensitivity to touch far more finely grained than we can possibly feel through our own skin.

Like the owners of the New York apartments who detest them, they suffer from stress and can die from it, even without injury.

They are also hierarchical and know their little territories well. Essays on reducing suffering they are running for it, think twice before crushing out another world. From a Discover Magazine article, Consciousness in a Cockroach: To Nicholas Strausfeld, a tiny brain is a beautiful thing.

Over his year career, the neurobiologist at the University of Arizona at Tucson has probed the minute brain structures of cockroaches, water bugs, velvet worms, brine shrimp, and dozens of other invertebrates.

Bruno van Swinderen, a researcher at the Neurosciences Institute NSI in San Diego, finds hints of higher cognitive functions in insects -- clues to what one scientific journal called "the remote roots of consciousness.

Introduction

A thing is not purely visual, not purely olfactory. It's a binding together of different parts that for us signify one thing. Why couldn't the fly's mechanism [of attention] be directed to a succession of its memories? We have literally no idea at what level of brain complexity consciousness stops.

Most people say, 'For heaven's sake, a bug isn't conscious. We're not sure anymore. I don't kill bugs needlessly anymore.

Schwenkreis.com: Essays on Reducing Suffering

If you look at the mushroom bodies, they're massively parallel and have feedback. Koch tries to avoid stepping on insects when walking.

Goldman quotes Antonio Damasio as saying: I have every reason to believe that invertebrates not only have emotions but also the possibility of feeling those emotions. That said, circadian rhythms are present even in plants, fungi, and cyanobacteria, so this fact alone is not conclusive.

Why They're Surprisingly Similar to People " Non-stereotyped behavior In his Animal ThinkingDonald Griffin presents complex behaviors on the part of various species of insects that he feels suggest consciousness. He concludes chapter 5 with the remark p.

Explaining instinctive behavior in terms of conscious efforts to match neural templates may be more parsimonious than postulating a complete set of specifications for motor actions that will produce the characteristic structure under all probable conditions.

Conscious efforts to match a template may be more economical and efficient. Of course] it is not necessary to suppose that animals [including insects] are consciously aware of all their neural templates; perhaps only a few are important enough that the animal thinks consciously about them and considers alternative ways of realizing them.

The workers of leaf-cutter ants are tiny creatures, and their entire central nervous system is less than a millimeter in diameter. Even such a miniature brain contains many thousands of neurons, but ants must do many other things besides gathering leaves and tending fungus gardens.

Can the genetic instructions stored in such a diminutive central nervous system prescribe all of the detailed motor actions carried out by one of these ants? Or is it more plausible to suppose that their DNA programs the development of simple generalizations such as Search for juicy green leaves or Nibble away bits of fungus that do not smell right, rather than specifying every flexion and extension of all six appendages?

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Page gives an example with spiders: Bristowe describes how orb-weaving spiders sometimes vary their stereotyped behavior in dealing with small insects caught in their webs.

If an experimenter holds a struggling fly with forceps close to such a spider, she omits the earlier stages of normal behavior running along the web to reach the fly and bites it immediately. If the fly is already dead, she wraps it in silk without biting it first.

In constructing their elaborate webs, spiders are often said to follow a rigid series of behavior patterns which are presumably instinctive since a female spinning her first web does so almost perfectly. But she will make some alterations in structure when the surrounding vegetation or the space to be spanned is irregular.

Bristowe describes how a spider whose web is ordinarily symmetrical builds a highly asymmetrical web when the opening between leaves makes such a shape appropriate.Collection of both broad and in-depth thoughts and research on how we can reduce suffering in reality.

The essays discuss topics like wild-animal suffering, effective altruism, artificial intelligence, consciousness, the future, moral philosophy, epistemology, game theory, decision theory and insects/5(1).

Access schwenkreis.com Essays on Reducing Suffering A fair number of papers have investigated this topic, but two in particular that have good reviews of the literature are Jane A. As Smith notes, "The well-being of invertebrates used for research is being taken increasingly seriously," with V.
See a Problem? Footnotes Introduction "The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive; others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear; others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites; thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease.

tragedy that went with farming. These crop-cultivation deaths are indeed tragic, though we have to keep them in perspective. Reducing populations of mammals and birds also prevents animal deaths that would have happened. Reducing Bug Suffering (video presentation) Cost-Effectiveness Comparison for Different Ways to Reduce Insect Suffering Efforts to Help Wild Animals Should Be Effective, Not Idealistic.

Collection of both broad and in-depth thoughts and research on how we can reduce suffering in reality. The essays discuss topics like wild-animal suffering, effective altruism, artificial intelligence, consciousness, the future, moral philosophy, epistemology, game theory, decision theory and insects/5(2).

A Comparative Look at Religious Suffering. Suffering can be described as an experience that involves physical and mental pain resulting from a sense of loss, disturbance, or a general feeling of powerlessness surrounding a series of events/5(11). Aug 21,  · Background.

Essays on reducing suffering

The evidence is mixed on the question of whether insects can feel pain.A fair number of papers have investigated this topic, but two in particular that have good reviews of the literature are Jane A. Smith, "A Question of Pain in Invertebrates," ILAR Journal, and Jeffrey A.

Lockwood, "The Moral Standing of Insects .

Essays on Reducing Suffering by Brian Tomasik