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If you have to choose

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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lucagrabacr
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If you have to choose

#1 Postby lucagrabacr » October 24th, 2014, 5:56 pm

I just thought about this a few minutes ago.

Let's say there's a hypothetical highly intelligent ape that's as smart as a human being.

Then there's this man that due to some kind of disease or defect, barely can be called an intelligent being that's conscious and aware about himself.

Both of them are infected by the same kind of disease which going to kill them, and you can only save one of them.

Which one of them are you going to choose?
When I'm told to think, I just can't see what I see when I'm thinking for myself

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Dave B
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Re: If you have to choose

#2 Postby Dave B » October 24th, 2014, 6:01 pm

Looks like another version of trolleyology - think I'll spectate this one!

:popcorn:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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lucagrabacr
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Re: If you have to choose

#3 Postby lucagrabacr » October 24th, 2014, 6:28 pm

Dave B wrote:Looks like another version of trolleyology - think I'll spectate this one!

:popcorn:



Just came back from the other thread ;) I do think logical consideration should be above moral & ethical consideration, it's easy to choose between two living beings. But the thought that killing myself than a more important person is logical actually scared me :(
When I'm told to think, I just can't see what I see when I'm thinking for myself

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Nick
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Re: If you have to choose

#4 Postby Nick » October 25th, 2014, 11:38 am

lucagrabacr wrote:I just thought about this a few minutes ago.
THat always leads to problems...! :wink:

Let's say there's a hypothetical highly intelligent ape that's as smart as a human being.
In which case, given that humans are apes, could it not be classified as another type of human?

Then there's this man that due to some kind of disease or defect, barely can be called an intelligent being that's conscious and aware about himself.
There are many such. And though we sometimes consider it is appropriate to let them die peacefully, in general, we consider that, because they are human, we should care for them like any healthy human. In this way, we seek to defend our own position, that if we ourselves become ill, we will betreated in a similar way.

Both of them are infected by the same kind of disease which going to kill them, and you can only save one of them.
We have this already. And unfortunately, in many cases, on a world-wide scale, the results of our choices are pretty ugly.

Which one of them are you going to choose?
Probably the one to which we feel closer.

Hmmm....

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Manuel
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Re: If you have to choose

#5 Postby Manuel » October 25th, 2014, 12:19 pm

I feel that historically, and sometimes now, humans are very arrogant when it come to animals (other animals). I wonder if it's an innate part of the pshyche of animals (and us) to think that their species is the most important, to want it to thrive over other species. I suppose in a way it's natural to think of ones own species as better and more deserving of life, perhaps evolution demands it.

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Altfish
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Re: If you have to choose

#6 Postby Altfish » October 25th, 2014, 12:32 pm

These dilemmas are always tricky; it's like the one with a train heading down a line and you control the switch.
There is no 'right' decision; I think I'd go for the human.

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lucagrabacr
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Re: If you have to choose

#7 Postby lucagrabacr » October 25th, 2014, 1:18 pm

So.. Is humanity the breaking point which most of us are no longer unbiased? :wink:

Nick wrote:
lucagrabacr wrote:Let's say there's a hypothetical highly intelligent ape that's as smart as a human being.
In which case, given that humans are apes, could it not be classified as another type of human?


Hmm, yes, maybe some people will feel that way because we're related to apes in a way or another. I think I was thinking about using a feline as an example so it's less related to us, but I thought that's kind of too unrealistic :D (no offense to felines!)

Manuel wrote:I feel that historically, and sometimes now, humans are very arrogant when it come to animals (other animals). I wonder if it's an innate part of the pshyche of animals (and us) to think that their species is the most important, to want it to thrive over other species. I suppose in a way it's natural to think of ones own species as better and more deserving of life, perhaps evolution demands it.


So far I also find it easy to act that way because we haven't found any species that's more or comparably as intelligent as we are, or if there's an isolated case like the hypothetical scenario I wrote above, its scale is simply not noticeable enough to have any impact on ourselves as a whole.
When I'm told to think, I just can't see what I see when I'm thinking for myself

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Manuel
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Re: If you have to choose

#8 Postby Manuel » October 25th, 2014, 1:34 pm

No, not in my opinion. I hope that we more and more understand and respect the animals around us, but I don't see much evidence of us seeing other animals on anywhere near an equal basis. An example might be what we do to our environments, which are very biased towards human existance, often to the clear detriment of all other animals.

And clearly there is a hiararchy of respect and care towards other animals which I find interesting, perhaps in order something along the lines of: apes, then other large mammals, then small mammals then fish, then reptiles, amphibians, insects (and if you can't be seen easily by the naked eye you've got no hope).

I once wondered about, from a human perspective, whether we could attempt to calculate the value of animals in respect to other animals i.e, 1 large mammal = 5 small ones. 1 amphibian = 50 insects etc, and whether there would be any value in debating this, as the value and importance of animals compared to other animals clearly does exisit within us and perhaps shouldn't be ignored.

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lucagrabacr
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Re: If you have to choose

#9 Postby lucagrabacr » October 25th, 2014, 1:41 pm

Manuel wrote:I once wondered about, from a human perspective, whether we could attempt to calculate the value of animals in respect to other animals i.e, 1 large mammal = 5 small ones. 1 amphibian = 50 insects etc, and whether there would be any value in debating this, as the value and importance of animals compared to other animals clearly does exisit within us and perhaps shouldn't be ignored.


I agree. I think we can quantify a living being's right to live based on some factors, how intelligent is it? (enough to be aware of oneself's existence?) how important is their existence? (but in regard to the continuation of our race?) are they endangered? (do we just want to preserve them?)
When I'm told to think, I just can't see what I see when I'm thinking for myself

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Altfish
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Re: If you have to choose

#10 Postby Altfish » October 25th, 2014, 1:43 pm

Should we treat animals on an equal basis?
We certainly should do our best to protect the environment and at the same time the animals within it. But if it comes to the decision "Them or me or my kind" I think animals lose out.
Do animals not also have this same hierarchy, i.e. their own species before all others?

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animist
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Re: If you have to choose

#11 Postby animist » October 25th, 2014, 1:50 pm

that is a no brainer for me: despatch the nobrainer human painlessly and treasure the intelligent ape - though he or she might feel guilty at what had happened

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lucagrabacr
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Re: If you have to choose

#12 Postby lucagrabacr » October 25th, 2014, 2:07 pm

Altfish wrote:their own species before all others?


But I think at some point in the future we should be able to go beyond that :wink:
When I'm told to think, I just can't see what I see when I'm thinking for myself

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Altfish
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Re: If you have to choose

#13 Postby Altfish » October 25th, 2014, 4:54 pm

lucagrabacr wrote:
Altfish wrote:their own species before all others?


But I think at some point in the future we should be able to go beyond that :wink:

Would that be good? It would be against evolution.

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Dave B
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Re: If you have to choose

#14 Postby Dave B » October 25th, 2014, 5:04 pm

Altfish wrote:Do animals not also have this same hierarchy, i.e. their own species before all others?
I think that one has to separate the "basic instinctive" self/own genes survival drive from any higher function, Altfish.

Would even a Bonobo, our closest cousin, give up their life willingly to save another. Having said that the drive for a mother to protect a baby or small child, even against seemingly impossible odds, can be very strong.

Apart from the, Altfish, could you clarify a couple of points please:
Should we treat animals on an equal basis?
Equal to us?

But if it comes to the decision "Them or me or my kind" I think animals lose out.
Can that be applied 100%, are not some animals, or at least insects, almost essential to our survival?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Altfish
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Re: If you have to choose

#15 Postby Altfish » December 16th, 2014, 9:18 pm

I meant should animals be treated equal to humans.

Insects are indeed essential to our survival; but I'm not talking about wiping them all out. The original question was one ape v one human; I'm assuming one human v (say) one ant

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Dave B
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Re: If you have to choose

#16 Postby Dave B » December 16th, 2014, 9:39 pm

Altfish wrote:I meant should animals be treated equal to humans.

Insects are indeed essential to our survival; but I'm not talking about wiping them all out. The original question was one ape v one human; I'm assuming one human v (say) one ant
Blimey, I get this horrible feelings that some sort of "moral value" comes into this - not the morals of whether or not we have the right to determine life or death for any other creature (I was told that even Buddhists have a very broad definition for "natural death" when it comes to food animals, "Oh look, that goat fell off the cliff (when I pushed it) and died, naturally, at the bottom."!) more of a case of what does the creature contribute to the world.

Even the ant provides food for the anteater/pangolin, which provides dung as fertiliser and is prey for some other creature's survival - and so on.

Trouble is, on that measure, not sure how long mankind could be justified to survive . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Altfish
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Re: If you have to choose

#17 Postby Altfish » December 16th, 2014, 10:23 pm

Dave B wrote:
Altfish wrote:I meant should animals be treated equal to humans.

Insects are indeed essential to our survival; but I'm not talking about wiping them all out. The original question was one ape v one human; I'm assuming one human v (say) one ant
Blimey, I get this horrible feelings that some sort of "moral value" comes into this - not the morals of whether or not we have the right to determine life or death for any other creature (I was told that even Buddhists have a very broad definition for "natural death" when it comes to food animals, "Oh look, that goat fell off the cliff (when I pushed it) and died, naturally, at the bottom."!) more of a case of what does the creature contribute to the world.

Even the ant provides food for the anteater/pangolin, which provides dung as fertiliser and is prey for some other creature's survival - and so on.

Trouble is, on that measure, not sure how long mankind could be justified to survive . . .


Grief Dave, I think you are taking 2+2 and getting 5.
Go back to the original question...
Let's say there's a hypothetical highly intelligent ape that's as smart as a human being.
Then there's this man that due to some kind of disease or defect, barely can be called an intelligent being that's conscious and aware about himself.
Both of them are infected by the same kind of disease which going to kill them, and you can only save one of them.
Which one of them are you going to choose?

...that is what I am answering.
I am not advocating an onslaught on animals for the sake of it. I am making a choice as set up by the question.

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Dave B
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Re: If you have to choose

#18 Postby Dave B » December 17th, 2014, 10:36 am

I should have added a wink! My response was intended to be a bit tongue in cheek. :D
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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jaywhat
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Re: If you have to choose

#19 Postby jaywhat » December 17th, 2014, 11:01 am

How is it that only one can be saved?
I would say that one should attempt to save them both and hope it succeeds.


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