A Moral Issue (And Extraterrestrial Life)

Discussion in 'Big Brother House' started by Debo, Jun 26, 2002.

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  1. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    1. Even though the genetic difference between a human being and a chimpanzee is smaller than that between a human being and an orang-utan, Man thinks he's morally justified to do vivisection on chimpanzees. This is based on his conviction that he possesses the essential feature X, that sets him apart from all animals, including chimpanzees. Through the ages, theologists, philosophers and psychologers have suggested solutions for this X.

    2. Dr. Mengele, who experimented on people in Auschwitz, fills us with the deepest hate that we're capable of. How could he do that? Surely he was a human being himself? I consider it probable that he could do it because he was convinced he didn't experiment on people, but on Jews -- and Jews weren't people, they were vermin. Ungeziefer. They missed the vital feature X, that he himself as an arischer Herrenmensch of course possessed in great amounts.

    3. Now let's look at this. A decade or so again NASA launched a space capsule with all sorts of data, that indicated that we are intelligent creatures with the feature X. It also contained the location of the Sun and the orbit of the Earth. Imagine now, that this capsule indeed will be intercepted by a civilization of highly developed creatures, that possess feature Y and differ from us as much as we differ from animals. Then they come to the Earth and subdue us.

    4. Three questions:

    One: Are these creatures, on the ground of their feature Y, morally justified to do vivisection on us the way we, on the ground of our feature X, do on animals?

    Two: If no, are we still allowed to do vivisection on animals?

    Three: Who at NASA was so stupid to give them the location of our planet? Shouldn't we, knowing ourselves, try and camouflage and hide?
  2. wild_karrde Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 7
    Monkeys are funny :D

    Anyhoo, if they can come to Earth, then they will be VASTLY superior to us, and probably won't resort to stuff like that.

    Except the grey skins, who enjoy probing farmers from Virginia [face_plain]
  3. deltron_zero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    this could be a very interesting debate Debo. i think the first question we would need to answer in order to have any sort of definitive stance on this issue is whether experimentation on animals can be morally justified in the first place. it seems to me that the idea of "feature X" is a pretty shakey leg for an argument to stand on, especially since it seems to be an intangible, undefinable variable.

    could we pin-point what this "feature X" is? could we then show that it provides with a qualitative difference from the rest of the of the animal kingdom.

    perhaps one would say that the fact that we can even have this debate is the qualitative difference, but should that realization automatically devalue all life that isn't human? can our ability to think creatively be used as an excuse to torture the defenseless creatures who lack that ability?

    personally, i am disgusted by the experimentation that is done on animals... and yet i eat meat. oh well, i guess being aware of my hypocrisy is a step in the right direction.
  4. wild_karrde Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 7
    Well, to a point we have to experiment on animals to test certain things, like cloning, because their genetic structure is simpler than ours. But for things like shampoo and other crap like that, use prisoners. It's not like they're going anywhere.
  5. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    Oh, let it be clear that I absolutely reject any experimentation on animals. I don't eat meat, but I understand your dilemma, Del -- my cousin always says his biggest defeat is the fact he still eats meat. It's OK, I'm not going to try and convert you like some people tend to do; each to his own. We're all free.

    But what I wrote is a moral dilemma for the people that support experimentation on animals, and I'd like to know how they would defend it. What IF some highly-intelligent race uses the same ethics as we do? We'd be f**ked.
  6. JediSenoj451 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2001
    star 4
    I'll start by saying that I am a BIG animal's rights activists. (The reason why I have been a vegetarian for the past 5 years.)

    However, it is hard for even me to give my feelings on animal experimentation. On one hand, I feel that it is wrong to raise animals only to have them die painful deaths in a laboratory. On the other hand, how else can we test new medicines and treatments? On humans? Then people would cry out that we are violating rights. And relying only on volunteers isn't enough.

    I've thought about the scenario with aliens coming to earth and torturing us etc. for experiments before. Hopefully, aliens that smart will have other ways to perform experiments.

    ~*Senoj*~
  7. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    It's funny we all feel the same about animals, the three/four of us. I'm a big champion of animal rights as well. And I'll always try to defend them.
  8. deltron_zero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    But what I wrote is a moral dilemma for the people that support experimentation on animals, and I'd like to know how they would defend it. What IF some highly-intelligent race uses the same ethics as we do? We'd be f**ked.

    most definitely. i think that too often the people who support and implement the policies and institutions of of animal experimentation are people who never even consider this moral dilemma. for much of the population "feature X" is just taken for granted. but how do these people manage to stay ignorant and arrogant in their views when they see chimpanzees who can think creatively, who can learn sign language and communicate on our terms. i mean this is really incredible. have human beings ever learned how to communicate using the means of another species? well, duck calls and that sort of thing maybe, but that's not truly communicating.
  9. JediSenoj451 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2001
    star 4
    Debo~ What would you propose we do instead of performing medical experiments on animals? Let people die? ?[face_plain]

    I'm sure we have all had one family member or friend who was saved from some modern technology that first had to be expirimented with.

    Just curious to see what your stand is. :)

    ~*Senoj*~
  10. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    Exactly, Del.

    I'm often amazed, also, at how you can communicate with an animal. I don't mean really talking with them, but understanding each other. My cat understands exactly what his little slave's rituals are, when he wakes up, when he comes home, what he means when he uses certain sounds.

    My parents have sheep, chickens and rabbits, and cats -- and they all know me. Sheep recognize my face, and stay near me when I'm in the garden there. I talk to them, and by the words I use they understand that there's a connection, a bond, between us. There's all kinds of little things like that, things that many people don't take the trouble to see.

    EDIT: That's that tough one, Senoj, isn't it. I really don't know. As much as I like to say no experimentation whatsoever ever, I don't know how I'll react if someone in my family gets ill. Maybe I'll want to use every possible way of saving him/her (of course). I have an opinion on almost everything, but this I just don't know.
  11. deltron_zero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    that's why it really is such a huge dilemma.
  12. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    Let's shift the focus a bit to extraterrestrial life. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?
  13. JediSenoj451 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2001
    star 4
    If aliens are anywhere near as cruel as us, they would probably slaughter us without thinking much about it. [face_plain]

    Not to mention the diseases they would bring to the planet...

    ~*Senoj*~
  14. deltron_zero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    i think wild_karrde brought up a good point earlier. if aliens were so much more advanced than us technologically that they could travel to our solar system, i would hope that they would be more enlightened morally and ethically as well.
  15. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    Yet it seems the progress of technology is inversely proportional to our "use" of ethics and morality. Hopefully, any alien race will differ from us when it comes to that.

    Kubrick once said that there could be alien life forms on Earth as we speak -- we just don't have the capability to be aware of them. Like ants are not aware of our existence (or so we think). Maybe they're examining us right now without us knowing it.
  16. Bithysith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2000
    star 5
    I think that we are ignoring many intelligent species from our own planet that we could have meaningful communication with (primates, cetaceans, corvids, psittacines, etc).

    Besides, I think it is a bit precipitous to assume that a sentient alien race would have developed intensive agriculturalism (the social revolution that made exponential technological advancement possible for humans). We were hunter-gatherers for the majority of our history as a species... it's quite an assumption to believe that agriculture is an inevitable direction for all intelligent species to take.
  17. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    I think that we are ignoring many intelligent species from our own planet that we could have meaningful communication with (primates, cetaceans, corvids, psittacines, etc).

    I agree. There's a whole world there that "has" yet to be discovered.

    It's quite an assumption to believe that agriculture is an inevitable direction for all intelligent species to take.

    It's hard to imagine an alien life form as anything. The little green men certainly were left behind somewhere in the Fifties. How would they look? What would they do? It's impossible to imagine. We can only draw parallels with / base assumptions upon our world when we speculate.
  18. BISMARCK Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 4
    I'm more worried about the day when whales grow opposable thumbs...
  19. Bithysith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2000
    star 5
    That day is at hand!

    [image=http://graphics.theonion.com/pics_3630/dolphin.gif]

    Debo, good point. :) It's hard to imagine what alien life would be like... however if it evolved in an eco-system similar to ours, a logical hypothesis is that it would obtain resources necessary for survival using the tactic employed by all species of this planet... hunter-gathering.


  20. Debo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    Imagine the shock if they ever really find anything. It will cause waves in every possible area: philosophy, technology, history, psychology...

    A bit of that excitement could be felt when they showed those Mars photos -- and people nearly went berserk when it was speculated there might, possibly, once, have been water on Mars.

    "Attack Of The Mutant Mars Waters". There's one they didn't think of in the 50s.
  21. Bithysith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2000
    star 5
    I thought Contact did a very good job at predicting what humanity's reaction would be to such a revelation. The novel was even better...
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