Graham Bessellieu

“Diverse sentients could live in mutual symbiosis” Graham Bessellieu – New Sentientist Conversation

Graham is an artist, a photographer and a video/audio content producer.

In these Sentientist Conversations, we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”. Sentientism is “evidence, commitment & compassion for all sentient beings.”

The audio is also on our Podcast – subscribe on Apple so you don’t miss it: (& most other platforms).

We discuss:

  • Being raised Christian
  • Going from a soprano to a bass during a church choir tour
  • Love and compassion as central to Christian ethics
  • Eternal torture in hell maybe isn’t ethical – a trigger for re-thinking
  • Comparative religion, logical contradictions
  • The weakness of theodicies (explanations for evil)
  • New Atheism, Dennett, Harris and naturalism
  • Are most religious people more moral than their religions?
  • A naturalistic grounding for ethics
  • Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation”. Developing ethics through evidence and reason
  • Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” and factory farming
  • Earthlings, the documentary
  • How ethical conviction helped Graham work through the practical and social challenges of giving up animal products
  • How some of the most fundamental philosophical challenges have the simplest answers, but social norms get in the way
  • Is animal farming a “necessary evil”?
  • Our non-human animal friends make a cameo appearance
  • The amazing ethical gymnastics people do to try and justify continuing to consume animal products (toddler farming anyone?)
  • Normalising rationality and sentiocentrism. Getting them to be mainstream
  • Why people should adopt Sentientism quickly while it’s still edgy and cool 🙂
  • Clean meat and plant-based meats
  • Ending animal farming and exploitation and using sanctuaries as part of transition
  • Zoonotic disease risks
  • The common ground, even a political majority, re: ending factory farming: Sentience Politics, Cory Bookers’ farm bill
  • Extending legal personhood to non-humans
  • Mitigating wild animal suffering (see Animal Ethics and Wild Animal Initiative orgs)
  • Difficult problems and uncertain solutions don’t justify excluding sentient beings from moral consideration
  • Effective Altruism – how to do the most good
  • David Deutsch & “The Beginning of Infinity”… Getting to better problems
  • Steven Pinker & “Enlightenment Now”
  • Avoiding naivety but remaining radically open to possibilities
  • Magnus Vinding & “Suffering-Focused Ethics”
  • Transhumanism, long-termism and immediate ethical priorities re: suffering
  • The struggle to balance the value of enhancing sentient experience (including our own) vs. the imperative of suffering reduction
  • What good could our species do if we could free up today’s humans from suffering and survival concerns and tap in to our latent compassionate ethics?
  • A Star Trek future?
  • The potential diversity of future sentients and how we might live together
  • The information processing view of sentience and consciousness and its unbounded potential
  • Will future sentients even be able to connect? In many ways we already are connected.

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” You can find out more at Sentientism.info. Join hundreds of others on our “wall” using this simple form.

Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our community groups. Our main group is here on FaceBook.

Thanks to Graham Bessellieu for his post-prod work on this video. Follow him at @cgbessellieu.

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