Friday, June 6, 2008

The Swedish Minister of Agricultur..

..is a bit insecure. Sweden is now discussing a law that criminialize performing sex acts with animals. Norway passed a law like this without much public debate, but appearantly, the Swedish Minister of Agricultur have a problem with defining where to draw the line between what is normal behaviour and what's suppose to be illegal:

Well, Mr. Erlandsson, let me be the first(?) to tell you: That example is WAY over the line. Only a real sicko would even think of such an example in a public debate.

27 comments:

Laika1997 said...

These are the problems that must be adressed legally. This man is not a sicko for pointing this out.

Pigeon said...

i would like to know what kind of example he's using for the non swedish speaker that i am

Anders said...

These are the problems that must be adressed legally. This man is not a sicko for pointing this out.

Well, his question was: Is it sex when you rub your genital with something that the dog likes and let it lick it off? (maybe not excat word for word translation, but close enough. Good enough for you, pigeon?). The question was not: "How should we form the letter of the law to criminialize rubbing something tasty on your genitals and let the dog lick it off". BIG difference. And if this was "just a legal issue", how come Norway seem to be able to pass this law without further discussion?

But, like me make it clear, I don't mean to imply that the swedish minister of agricultur fancy animals in any way, so sicko may be a strong word. But it was a really, really weird example he used. Couldn't he find a better example for the grey areas of this law? I could think of several, WAY more innocent, right off the bat.

Pigeon said...

wow I would have never thought of that
I agree Anders, that guy is a sicko

Wilhelm said...

There's a "Hillbilly-Clinton-On-A-Shoestring-Budget" press conference just waiting to happen here, innit?

"I did NOT have sexual relations with that turkey"

I can't believe that this is even considered a grey area.

And within this context, the user name laika1997 comes off as either being a poorly constructed ad hoc gimmick or someone with particular interests in mind.

Tell ya what; if you replace the word "dog" with the word "infant" in the speech, would it still be a grey area which needs public debate?

Wilhelm said...

...on a related note; I don't envy the Swedish Secretary of Agriculture the assignment of having to go live with this in the first place

Cathy said...

how come Norway seem to be able to pass this law without further discussion

I believe the explanation to be very simple: there's no such thing as a norwegian sex offender! Norwegians know better than to sexually abuse another human or dog or bike or whatever...

I'm only half serious about the above of course. Now, concerning the minister, I think the guy definitely chose a way out of line example. Moreover ;), who the heck needs an example to know what qualifies as a sex act with an animal?

Wilhelm said...

Moreover ;), who the heck needs an example to know what qualifies as a sex act with an animal?

Exactly. And this is pretty much the sign of a true scumbag - asking about degrees.....it's what you see all of the time in various settings. Typically it goes something like this:

Journalist: So; did you take the money from those orphans?

Scumbag: Umm......could you please define "take"?

Anders said...

Tell ya what; if you replace the word "dog" with the word "infant" in the speech, would it still be a grey area which needs public debate?

No need to go down that route, chief. The example is horrible enough on it's own. But I must admit I was thinking the same, especially after cheking out what your "mate" Ars Ethica has to say about this issue. But I didn't post it.

Wilhelm said...

trust me; I feel no need to go that route at all

Anders said...

for the non swedish speaker that i am

You should learn some. Repeat sentence at least 25 times a day: "Jag gillar surströmmning og potatis." You could easily pass for a native Swede with this sentencen.
:-D

Wilhelm said...

On a serious note, the fact that some people actually oppose such a criminalization is the very reason that we need laws like these to begin with.

That some people are such gargantuan losers that they feel the need to defend actions like these kind of speaks volumes.

Wilhelm said...

...and repeatedly exclaim "Höredu"

That seems to do teh trick

Wilhelm said...

......of course; going to IKEA and ordering "Köttbullar med gräddsås och potatismos" before you go home to watch "Bolibompa" and check out some Povel Ramel is gonna round off that cultural experience nicely.

Anders said...

On a serious note, the fact that some people actually oppose such a criminalization is the very reason that we need laws like these to begin with.

That some people are such gargantuan losers that they feel the need to defend actions like these kind of speaks volumes.


Straight to the point, bro! The fact that people oppose a law like this is nearly as unbelievable for me as people "fancy" animals...

...adn you do know that you link to this blog?

Wilhelm said...

...I saw it - very bad taste indeed.

Wilhelm said...

Anders: I saw that you're trying to argue over there, but I'm not sure how much effort it's worth sinking into it. Quite frankly I find that the blog in question has turned into a personality cult lately, with a small but vocal community of "You rock bro, as usual" commenters.

Which is all good and well, but leaves a certain aftertaste when it's supposed to be a "deep" and rational discussion forum.

If it's a fan page, then I guess having a number of faceless dweebs swinging from someone's nuts is to be expected, but in this case I expected more, I guess.

Oh well. Enjoy your discussions, and expect lots of google-fu and wikipedia-links as substitutes for arguments, I guess

Anders said...

I know, I know, it's of no use trying to put some sense into that blog. But I couldn't help myself, especially when the tone on one of the comments was that being agaist animal sex was something negative. Since when was that negative? Oh well, I've put in one last post there, and think I'll settle with that.

arsethica.org said...

"I'm not sure how much effort it's worth sinking into it."

A nice philosophy is that I can understand everything you manage to explain.

The reason the tone was "negative" against the people "for" the law: no one AFAIK is "for" animal sex, what is discussed is wether it should be illegal or not (in the same way one can be "against" religion or homosexuality without wanting to outlaw it).

If you want to make something (e.g. animal sex) illegal, you have to give better arguments than "that guy is a sicko" or "the fact that some people actually oppose such a criminalization is the very reason that we need laws like these to begin with". That line of reasoning was used to outlaw homosexuality for the longest time, and I guess we all agree that it isn't rational to follow it any more.

arsethica.org said...

A sentence missing there, sorry for that:

"The reason the tone was "negative" against the people "for" the law:" the line of arguments presented were not impressive at all.

Anders said...

If you want to make something (e.g. animal sex) illegal, you have to give better arguments than "that guy is a sicko"

According to research and veterinarian professionals, people DO inflict physical and mental damage to the animal when performing animal sex. Fact. Your personal belief may be that have the right to do whatever you want with animals, but I’m afraid that you're in conflict with the general public in Sweden/ Norway and the spirit of animal cruelty laws. Or you may believe that your gentle fondling of your house pet never inflicts physical and/or mental damage, but you're against most of the scientific world on that one.

If you want to make something (e.g. animal sex) illegal, you have to give better arguments than .... "the fact that some people actually oppose such a criminalization is the very reason that we need laws like these to begin with".

No, it is a pretty good argument in this case, actually. The society does not want animal sex. And if the society is regulating a behavior itself, we don't need laws against it. But the number of cases of suspected animal sex shows that it is a problem, so it should be a no-brainer to be pro criminalization. When there still are people that are against such a law, it's just another inidication that it's needed.

Wilhelm said...

If you want to make something (e.g. animal sex) illegal, you have to give better arguments than "that guy is a sicko" or "the fact that some people actually oppose such a criminalization is the very reason that we need laws like these to begin with". That line of reasoning was used to outlaw homosexuality for the longest time, and I guess we all agree that it isn't rational to follow it any more.

Nicolas; you're a smart guy, and you obviously put a lot of time and effort into your blog. It's also quite obvious that you like to win arguments, and I guess there's nothing wrong with that. Do you really think that the type of sophism presented above will work on me? The trying to lure me into accepting the premise as you define it, thereby boxing my future arguments in so tht I've either got to accept my designated box or admit to flawed logic within the context defined by you?

Good luck with that.

arsethica.org said...

Anders: please refrain from the ad hominems, they only harm your case.

If you had also read my blog (and what the swedish guy said), the topic of discussion was "animal sex" that didn't harm the animal. We already have laws against harming animals, and abusing them sexually is obviously one way of doing that. What I wanted to discuss was whether sex that didn't (an important premise) harm the animal should be outlawed (thus, not harming animals, but the sex per se).

"Do you really think that the type of sophism presented above will work on me? The trying to lure me into accepting the premise as you define it, thereby boxing my future arguments in so tht I've either got to accept my designated box or admit to flawed logic within the context defined by you?"

You forget the alternative of pointing out my fallacy. "Repulsion" was long used as a criterion for judging if something was wrong or not. As society matured, we realized that it's besides the case if you find homosexuality repulsive. While animal sex sure is repulsive, it's the harming of animals that should be outlawed, but I guess this is too complicated for the common man to grasp. Most people live happily their whole lives without understanding inflation either, which is usually fine by me as long as we aren't discussing anything that might infringe on important rights (animal sex not being any of these, fyi).

Just out of curiosity: would guys want to ban child pornography per se as well, simply because it in the same manner is repulsive and not because innocent kids are damaged for life? (thus making repulsive fiction [animations, drawings, text, stories or thoughts] illegal).

Anders said...

Nicolas, there's not such thing as "sex that didn't ... harm the animal". You need to prove that to make your point valid. I've given several reasons why it is plausible that animal sex acts inflicting mental damage (f.ex. the non-verbal signals a sexual aroused person sends out) and at least the Swedish vetenarians seems to agree. In the same way as not all sexual abuse and harassment against people are guaranteed to inflict (permanent) mental damage, the great risk of such effect is enough to ban it.

We can reduce this to a "if a tree falls in the wood without anybody seeing it, would it make a sound" kind of dicussion, or we could accept the facts of life and see how we apply logic and ethics to the legislation.

Anders: please refrain from the ad hominems, they only harm your case.

No, there is in fact a personal ethical issue here: If your personal believe is that we can do whatever we want with animals (there could be several etichal deductions leading to this stand point), then a stand against banning animal sex would make sense. But we would still disagree, but on a deeper level.

And I do mean "your" as a general persons believe, not as the person Nicolas.

Also, as I urged Wilhelm above, please refrain from mixing children into this debate. It's bad taste, and I don't have the stomach to discuss such a serious topic at this level. I will stop posting and delete this thread if anybody tries to turn the debate in that direction. Post what you want on your own blog, but here you are a guest in my thread and should behave accordingly. Period.

arsethica.org said...

"Nicolas, there's not such thing as "sex that didn't ... harm the animal"."

I believe that's what was the point of the swedish minister. There are kinds of behavior considered repulsive and thus in the area of animal sex, but still not reasonable to outlaw only the sake of the animal.

Dogs lick themselves. Dog smell other dogs' genitals. They probably even lick other dogs' genitals for all I know (I wouldn't be surprised at all). Dogs frequently try to smell human crotches, to their owners' dismay (I've seen this several times, and we are always embarassed by the dog's unappropriate behavior).

Would a dog take damage from licking jam off your face? Off your shoulder? Back? Belly? And so on. Why would dogs suddenly take damage from doing so around the genital area of the human? I really don't get this. It's as absurd to me like claiming dogs would be offended by human people masturbating in front of them or something.

I simply have a hard time believing dogs could possibly take damage from this, as they wouldn't grasp the fact that they are "abused" by the human. It's like som kind of thought experiment where you weren't at all aware that you were satisfying a pervert. Would you take damage from it? I hardly think so.

All the documentation I have seen is on physical abuse of animals. I've agreed to the fact that this can inflict physical and "mental" damage on the animals. What we were discussing on my blog was the kinds of animal sex that happens "freely" with the animal (i.e. the animal is an active and unforced part of the act).

"No, there is in fact a personal ethical issue here: If your personal believe is that we can do whatever we want with animals (…) then a stand against banning animal sex would make sense."

Ad hominems would still be unappropriate, IMHO. And I've stated several times over that I simply believe a law against animal sex is superfluous as we already have laws against harming animals (granted, they need improvement, but that is under way, I believe). What we are in disagreement on is simply whether acts initiated freely by the animal could actually harmful, and on the value of the evidence you've presented.

Wilhelm said...

You forget the alternative of pointing out my fallacy.

Nicolas: That would've been a fantastic argument if I'd been actively debating this issue. Since I'm not and since I happen to agree with Anders here, I'm not under any obligation to divulge my line of reasoning. However, if I'd come to your blog and stated that your reasoning sucks, I'd be expected to back that up, right?

The level of expected detail output is quite dependent on the context. I didn't author the post, nor did I engage you in debate, so in this case and by an example, it's sufficient for me to agree that a glass and a crystal are two different things - I'm not expected to launch into the difference between a true second order phase transition and a kinetically hindered secondary minimum.

Anders said...

Dogs lick themselves. Dog smell other dogs' genitals. They probably even lick other dogs' genitals for all I know (I wouldn't be surprised at all). Dogs frequently try to smell human crotches, to their owners' dismay (I've seen this several times, and we are always embarassed by the dog's unappropriate behavior).

All part of dogs normal, non-verbal communation. Nothing sexual about that. Which is the point I've been trying to make.

Would a dog take damage from licking jam off your face? Off your shoulder? Back? Belly? And so on. Why would dogs suddenly take damage from doing so around the genital area of the human?

Again, you've seem to be stuck on the hygenic issue. No, there is no hygenic issues with a dog eating something from the genitals (or human for that matter, the genitals is fairly clean). It's the non-verbal signals an aroused person sends out when he/she is about to sexually take advantage of an animal. Animals communicate with smell, behaviour, body language, etc more then sound, which makes it plausible that they can be stressed/ feel fear in such a situation.

Ad hominems would still be unappropriate, IMHO.

In here, I'm straight to the point. I'm typing in "you" in a general mean in my example for being short, instead of "a person who...". For shortness. I'm not imply that you, Nicolas, or the Swedish minister of agricultur fancies animals. Let's move on from that issue.

What we were discussing on my blog was the kinds of animal sex that happens "freely" with the animal (i.e. the animal is an active and unforced part of the act).

No, we discussed whether putting chocolate on the genitals and letting the dog lick it off is a form of animal sex that should be banned. I can't see that the animal is the "active and unforced part" part in that situation.

And the problem with "animal sex that happens "freely" with the animal" is purely constructed. Since when did animals go around asking for sex? How can they ask for sex? Who's granting human characteristic to animals here?

And I've stated several times over that I simply believe a law against animal sex is superfluous as we already have laws against harming animals (granted, they need improvement, but that is under way, I believe).

The number of cases of suspected animal sex reported by vets inidactes that we need to take actions against it. By including it as a seperate point in the animal cruelty laws (or a separate law), it's sends out a clear and unmistakeable message that animal sex as a whole (which we agree harms the animal) is not accepted. If we make exceptions for a set of acts (I can't see what acts that would be), it will complicate the law and how it's inforced without having any real benefits. Unless you can come up with any benefits of some form of animal sex?

on is simply whether acts initiated freely by the animal

Again, who is granting animal human characteristic?

on the value of the evidence you've presented

Actually, I've given examples of why it is plausable that animal sex could inflict mental damage. Your initial stand was that there wasn't any rationale for banning animal sex and purely based on gut feeling. Not that you "disagree on the value of evidence" that indicates that animal sex is harmful.