Vegetarianism Ideological Turing Test!

by Raelifin1 min read9th Aug 201520 comments


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I'm running an Ideological Turing Test (or Caplan Test) in my local rationality group on the topic of vegetarianism. (Based on a survey, it's one that splits my community pretty evenly.) If anyone here is interested, you're welcome to participate! I'll be posting the responses I get on LW for judging, and I'm hoping to get responses from a couple people here that I could use for my local group. After I get responses and the community judges them, I'll post here to share the statistics.

You can PM me or rot13 your entry if you're concerned about information leakage, but I'll also accept plaintext comments. The (soft) deadline for submission is the evening of the 15th. If I don't have enough responses by then (for LW or my local group) I'll extend it.

If you're interested in participating, please read on:

First, please write a paragraph or two about what your general position is on vegetarianism. Please make it clear which way you lean for the purposes of answering/judging. This text will be public knowledge (used for the reveal) so include your name if you want to be known, and keep it anonymous if you don't.

Once you've described yourself, please write a paragraph (or two) to briefly answer each of the following questions. If you do not identify as an omnivore, answer the omnivore questions by pretending to be an (aspiring rationalist) omnivore. If you are not a vegetarian, answer the vegetarian questions by pretending to be an (aspiring rationality) vegetarian. When writing responses to the prompts, do not include information that makes it clear who you are (for example: I shouldn't say "Because I am very tall....")

For Omnivores:

 * Do you think the level of meat consumption in America is healthy for individuals? Do you think it's healthy for the planet?

 * How do you feel about factory farming? Would you pay twice as much money for meat raised in a less efficient (but "more natural") way?

 * Are there any animals you would (without significantly changing your mind) never say it was okay to hunt/farm and eat? If so, what distinguishes these animals from the animals which are currently being hunted/farmed?

 * If all your friends were vegetarians, and you had to go out of your way to find meat in a similar way to how vegans must go out of their way right now, do you think you'd still be an omnivore?

For Vegetarians:

 * If there was a way to grow meat in a lab that was indistinguishable from normal meat, and the lab-meat had never been connected to a brain, do you expect you would eat it? Why/why not?

 * Indigenous hunter gatherers across the world get around 30 percent of their annual calories from meat. Chimpanzees, our closest non-human relatives, eat meat. There are arguments that humans evolved to eat meat and that it's natural to do so. Would you disagree? Elaborate.

 * Do you think it's any of your business what other people eat? Have you ever tried (more than just suggesting it or leading by example) to get someone to become a vegetarian or vegan?

 * What do you think is the primary health risk of eating meat (if any)?

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