Index created by in spring, 2001, and updated in winter, 2002.
Awesome resource! Really answered some questions!
Rats have a powerful and effective gastroesophagealbarrier, consisting of the crural sling, the esophagealsphincter, and the centimeters of intraabdominal esophagus (seeabove). The pressure at the two ends of this barrier is much higherthan the pressure found in the thorax or abdomen during any phase ofthe the breathing cycle (Montedonico 1999b). Thestrength and pressure of this barrier make reflux in rats nearlyimpossible under normal conditions (Montedonico 1999a),though Will (1979) records low rates ofregurgitation.
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This throws us back to wondering where those reasons could come from, if they are more than just figments of our brains. They certainly aren’t in the physical world like wavelength or mass. The only other option is that moral truths exist in some abstract Platonic realm, there for us to discover, perhaps in the same way that mathematical truths (according to most mathematicians) are there for us to discover. On this analogy, we are born with a rudimentary concept of number, but as soon as we build on it with formal mathematical reasoning, the nature of mathematical reality forces us to discover some truths and not others. (No one who understands the concept of two, the concept of four and the concept of addition can come to any conclusion but that 2 + 2 = 4.) Perhaps we are born with a rudimentary moral sense, and as soon as we build on it with moral reasoning, the nature of moral reality forces us to some conclusions but not others.
The rat's stomach has two parts (Robert 1971):
This is no joke. Last month a British woman teaching in a private school in Sudan allowed her class to name a teddy bear after the most popular boy in the class, who bore the name of the founder of Islam. She was jailed for blasphemy and threatened with a public flogging, while a mob outside the prison demanded her death. To the protesters, the woman’s life clearly had less value than maximizing the dignity of their religion, and their judgment on whether it is right to divert the hypothetical trolley would have differed from ours. Whatever grammar guides people’s moral judgments can’t be all universal. Anyone who stayed awake through Anthropology 101 can offer many other examples.