Would you save the dog or the human?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Anir, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. thesilentking

    thesilentking Tiocfaidh ár lá!

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    I used to know some PETA activists many years ago. What a bunch of sadsacks they were: social inadequates unable to bond with humans who fixated on animals instead, anthropomorphising them in the process. If I knew the guy in the lake was one of those, I'd let the moron drown. As for the dog, I'd no more risk my life for it than I would for a hamster, stick insect, or any other lower life form. Anyone who'd do otherwise deserves a lungful of water.
     
  2. Prince_Kheldar

    Prince_Kheldar Beard Lover

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    Well, as I am a major cat lover, I would certainly want to save my cat. But a human is, as the UN so kindly put it, worth way more than a cat. And besides, if I save the human, maybe he will want to repay me in some kind of very lucrative way!
     
  3. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    actually Jorick I would think most animals would consider the gender of the "human" in danger,
    Up till now its been a human (and I suspect most people are thinking male). Now most species males are very jealous creatures - if another males drowns that is a good thing for them! It means less competition for food and females.

    Also in your comparison the other speices (the dog) is not part of the animal in questions "pack" (we will assume pack mentality because loaner mentality would garner no saving responce for either) and thus is ignorable. Change it to part of the pack and most animals show even less distinction between forms than a human will - an extreme example a mother will defend her young be they of her species or not, the fact that they are her young to care for and raise is all that matters - the same speices adult would be left to drown.

    Now if that drowning person were some really hot woman how would peoples reactions change? Would some rather save a hot chick or hunky guy over their pet? Of course I suspect now most people will rush in to save the dog since to say that saving the other based on a sexual desire is a selfish and demeaning thought - yet its there and I am sure that the pretty one has a far higher chance of survival than the ugly one (note that what constitues as pretty or ugly is very much down the indeviduals thoughts).
     
  4. thesilentking

    thesilentking Tiocfaidh ár lá!

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    Cynical nonsense; arguments like these are generally used by those who seek to justify there own selfish behaviour. There have been many studies which have shown humans are altruistic by nature.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4766490.stm
     
  5. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    The scariest thing is that we're actually discussing who to save...that freaks me out.The answer in no second should the human actually....
     
  6. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    You see though, I don't consider myself base enough to just strive towards "preservation of my species". We have evolved with higher order brain functions and can move on past such things.

    Just because another person/thing would save their own kind rather than me, does not mean I have to reciprocate in the same manner.

    We have no reason anyway to save more humans from a scientific point of view. We're an overpopulated world suffering from a lack of resources to sustain ourselves. Our species is more likely to survive if we take losses so that the majority will have the sufficient amount of resources to live on.
     
  7. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    It's a no-brainer for me, but maybe I'm weird. I know people get attached to their pets, but I would really like to think I live in a world where people would choose to save the person, not the animal. Reducing things to a cost/benefit analysis demeans humanity as a whole.
     
  8. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    I am only responding in such a manner due to the arguement presented to me. Plus not all people believe in the "spirit of humanity" and what have you. So numbers and cost/benefit works quite nicely for them.
     
  9. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    I wasn't having a dig at your post in particular, just addressing the general theme of misanthropy which seems to pervade this thread.:p
     
  10. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    I also think it's more than just who would you save. Such situations have a hell of a lot more factors such as who would you get to first, location, state of mind, would you try and go in again, etc.
     
  11. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    Of course, but intention is all. I just think it's sad that some people would automatically go for the dog rather than strive to rescue a fellow human being in need.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    of course the example is a gross simplification and what we all say we would do (or rather would like to do) might all go out the window were we actually in the situation itself. But its an interesting view into how people view the world around them,

    I also can't help but feel that
    that this viewpoint is still swinging round back to self preservation in the end. You save the human in the hope that were it you in the water you too would be saved. Rather than out of any greater/higher desire just to save another person or another life (dogs are alive BTW)

    Theslientking - humans are also very mammal centric as well - we focus a lot on mammalian species as whole - birds get a look in, then repitles, insects are rather low but annoying enough to get noticed and fish - we hardly really think or concern ourselves with fish at all. Just look at so many toys and cartoon characters - very few insects, lizards (barring dragons) and fish - with a major dominance of mammal based species.
     
  13. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    out of interest what makes the stranger a fellow baring the fact that he is a human?
    Is that enough of a reason to save their life but putting yours on the line in the process?
     
  14. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    Nope. Altruistic feelings aren't dependent on benefits accrued. That's the point of them.


    Yes. If you consider humans to be nothing more than animals then you'll obviously view things differently. I consider the fact that we have higher brain functions and have acquired language and reasoning to mean we are superior to animals, thus I would save the human.
     
  15. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    most animals have a functional level of language - ok so much of it might be contact based but its still a language of sorts. Dolphins and whales are supposed to have even more complex linguistic skills.
    As I say to others just because animasl can't speak the Queens English is not a sign that they don't communicate.
     
  16. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    I view that as sophistry, I'm afraid. Bees communicate with each other, but I wouldn't plunge into a lake to rescue one. Show me a monkey on a linguistic par with Shakespeare or Marlowe and I may agree with you. Ultimately, we all make value judgements, and I don't value animals above humans, nor reckon their lives to be of equal importance.
     
  17. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I can't believe that you're actually keep having that conversation...you'd prefer to save an animal from a human being?From a human being?A fellow human?Are we serious?People...I know some of you have these "liberal" or "progressive" ideas but hey...are you serious?You'd prefer to save a cat or a dog than a human?
     
  18. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Well to be honest I'm not the greatest swimmer so I'd look to see if there was life-ring (or whatever they're called) and sling it to the human or I'd do a valiant but drowning human impersonation to see whether I could reach 1) human 2) dog.
     
  19. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    You miss the point Chaos - I won't go into insects, they are a different kettle of fish - but for mammal based species are you saying that they have no communication skills? Or that a limited vocalbulary renders an animal less worth in being saved
    Also remember I have no stated that I would save any animal over a human - I have said that I would save my dog over a stranger - important difference.

    I just don't automaticaly give humans a higher importance because they are human - from any intellectual or religious point. Inteligence is all reletive and religion is complicated (and sadly too many have lost their morals and become all about control).
     
  20. Saka

    Saka New Member

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    the human. i probably woldnt have enough time to save them both, but if i did, i probably would. but the human first.