That’s not a proxy for suffering; it is caring about more than just suffering. You might oppose making animals’ brains smaller because it also reduces their ability to feel pleasure, and you value pleasure in addition to pain. You might oppose amputating non-essential body parts because that reduces the animal’s capacity for pleasurable experiences of the sort the species tends to experience. You might oppose breeding animals that enjoy pain because of the predictable injuries and shorter lifespan that would result: physical health and fitness is conventionally included in many definitions of animal welfare. You might also be a deontologist who is opposed to certain interventions as a violation of the animal’s rights or dignity.
Not being a negative utilitarian is not a bias.
That’s not a proxy for suffering; it is caring about more than just suffering
Yes, I agree with all that! I am not advocating that one approach is right and all the others are wrong. I have no prescriptive intentions about animals. I am advocating being honest with oneself about your preferences. If you proclaim to care about the reduction of animal suffering yet really care about many other metrics just as much, spend time reflecting on what your real values are, instead of doing motte-and-bailey when pressed. (This is a generic “you”, not you personally.)
It seems like you are the one doing some kind of motte-and-bailey, given you made a post called “Wirehead your Chickens” arguing for wireheading chickens and having a rather dismissive tone towards the opposing side, and now you’re saying the real point was that negative utilitarian rhetoric is too emphasized compared to the moral systems which are actually used by EAs. (By the way, the prominence of negative utilitarian rhetoric is one of My Issues With EA Let Me Show You Them.)
Sorry about the miscommunication. Disengaging, since I do not find focusing on form over substance all that productive. I have accepted your criticism about the tone as valid.
I’m surprised that you’re mentioning only non-negative utilitarianism and deontology, rather than the capability utilitarianism you recently signal-boosted, which I think is a more psychologically realistic explanation of people’s reactions to the idea of wireheading.