Would you save the dog or the human?

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

  1. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    I didn't miss your point; I just consider it nonsensical and trite. I'd never give my pet's life precedence over that of a human. And I disagree that intelligence is relative; admittedly there are some dumb people roaming the earth, but on average I still consider their lives to be of more worth than that of a dog. And I've deliberately not mentioned religion because that's a whole different can of worms I'm not prepared to open.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  2. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    It's only a person, you're overhyping our race. The majority I've met so far I've taken a dislike to, so it's not so farfetched that I'd rather save the Dog. Although again I must stress it's not as easy as "CHOOSE ONE".

    I've never seen intelligence as particularly defining trait to something having for of a right to live. Would you prefer to save your more intelligent friend than your less intelligent one merely because he's smarter? That's a sad way to class relationships. A lot of people have deep connections with their pets that maybe you don't experience. Just because you do not understand doesn't make it wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
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  3. Jorick

    Jorick Well-Known Member

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    Now you're adding in meaningless factors. The stated situation is simple; which would you save: A dog or A human, not YOUR dog, not a HOT human. As I see it, this is purely a question of which species you would save, and the logical choice is to save a member of your own species. If you put this situation in a contextual vacuum, take out all considerations of population and intelligence and all that, it comes down to the simple choice of which species will you save. And that's what I was trying to point out with my comparison.


    I find the bolded statement particularly ironic. How did we get to evolve to the point of having higher order brain functions? By striving to preserve our species. All animals do it, it's basically coded into their DNA. Your own species is naturally more important to you than another, valuing another species over a member of your own is basically saying that the other species as a whole is worth more than your own and deserves to survive over your own. And I'd like to see you argue that dogs are more important than humans as a whole. -_-


    Actually, the point of these hypothetical ethical situations is to take those other factors out of the mix. They clearly state what the situation is (dog and human in danger) and what you can do (save only one). Adding in mitigating factors makes it a situational problem solving question rather than an ethical dilemma, which defeats the entire purpose of posting the question in the first place.


    That's a very interesting point, but not relevant to this particular question. A better way to frame that question is a similar but different situation. Something like this: On a stormy day, you see a man struggling to swim far out from the shore. The waters are choppy and you're unsure of your ability to rescue the man. You figure you have a 50% chance of saving the man, and a 50% chance of dying in the attempt. Do you try to save him?
     
  4. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Dude I'm starting to worry about you...it's not about intelligence it's about saving a human life,do you understand this?A HUMAN life....human,homo sapiens,fellow human,a soul,a person,a man,someone....rather than saving a pet that is even if it's your companion or not...an animal.A common animal,a pet.
     
  5. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    It wasn't just striving to preserve our species as a whole, mutations, natural selection and speciation also helped to reached that point. Plus we mainly strived to preserve our own self aswell as offspring, not an entire species as a whole.

    What's wrong with disliking the majority of your own species? With our current selves we are able to analyse ourselves at much more indepth level.

    I don't need to argue that humans are worth less than dogs, because that's not what I'm saying. I'm arguing the fact that I don't particularly see how a human is worth more than a dog, merely because he resembles me in a biological fashion.

    I put forth that the question then is flawed if all those I mention before are completely stricken from the situation because realistically they would be happening.
     
  6. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    Human, Homo Sapien; a key force in ****ing up the world and also the creature which is inclined to commit mass genocide on it's own kind.

    A common animal pet to you may not be viewed the same to another.
     
  7. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Takes note:

    If I see Meteorain trying to keep himself from falling in a canyon....save the ant nearby and let him fall.
     
  8. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ Haven't you heard of the butterfly effect... the act of saving the ant may lead to a series of events culminating in Met being saved.
     
  9. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    It's one of the hallmarks of a person suffering from social inadequacy, that's what's wrong with it.
     
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  10. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Bah...it will probably cause a nuclear war,cold winter,then melting of the ice and the perish of 1/3 of the planet's population BUT NOOOOO I'm not holding Met's hand,I'll save the ant nearby.
     
  11. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Ok...


    Let's say it's about emotional attachment, yes?

    So, you state that you are emotionally less attached to humans then you are to the Canis vulgaris or whatever it is in proper Latin. I mean, it's possible, yes.

    Then I think we should consider the emotional attachment of the other two. Now, from what I know about behavioral science, we tend to attribute (way) more emotions to a dog then they are actually capable of producing. I am not entirely sure whether loyalty is an emotion, something dogs are very good at. But more from a survivalistic standpoint (foooood!) then emotional attachment. For the human, on the other hand, goes that we are very easily capable of emotions and emotional attachment - even, when need be, to strangers. So, the combined emotional attachement of you and the drowning human might be higher then that of you and the dog. Just a point of consideration.

    Beyond that, we have to take into account something else; social desirability. As your choice is now, the act of saving either the dog - or the human - will be judged and might well be subject of public debate.

    As you can see, a lot of people would disagree with you. And a human died in the choice. It would make you rather unpopular with at leat some groups. And, although saving animals (or humans) indeed is a spur-of-the-moment thing... wouldn't you reflect on that either, now you've got the chance to think about it?

    Another point to consider still is that unknown person also has family and relatives. Would they understand your choice?



    On a personal note, I don't partuclarly worry about dogs or indeed any pets. Animals die, that's nature. I've seen quite a few die in my time and I can't particularly say that I am touched by the event. We are just in the position to cognitively think about this all and pity the animal involved. I would consider this as a luxury problem rather then a real one.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    actually the original question is for our pet dog - or cat if one is a cat person and not a doggy person - random animals in the water for me I would still have to choose. A rare/endangerd animal I might very well save over a random human. - might.
     
  13. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Hmmm I would of course save the human as I said before, mainly because we are members of the same species, also although humans often do damage to the world, we also have made it our own. I think that human life is superior to an animal's because we have much higher intelligence than most of them and we have expanded our lives past the, hunt, breed, sleep, stages of life.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Not strictly true - such a view is more when the person has a direct problem with the majority of people closer to the person rather than everyone on the planet.


    An interesting idea Tur - taking things further than the present to consider the effect that the rest of society might have on the person doing the saving - ie being accountable for ones choice at the time.


     
  15. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I think we are all humans and we all have more potential in the society that we have created than an animal who will only reproduce and die almost meaninglessly, not having a chance to leave a legacy or leave ways to advance the condition of the world as a whole and perhaps find new forms of technology, ect.
     
  16. Raff the Sweetling

    Raff the Sweetling Threadkiller

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    I would save the human, and then whoop his ass for making me let my dog die.
     
  17. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    I'm not diagnosing him/her, merely pointing out that the symptoms of social inadequacy disorder include distrust of others and paranoia. 'Disliking the majority of your own species' suggests an underlying condition, which may be related to the above. It certainly isn't normal.
     
  18. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    so your saying that you trust the majority of your own speices?
    how can you even come to say a thing like that? Its hard enough to trust ones own friends and close companions and family - now your willing to extend that trust to billions? Wishful thinking I think in the grim real world.

    Which is not to say all men are evil - but rather that not all men are good.

    I also find it interesting that human life is so measured by intelligence and productivity - I wonder were we to swap the drowning person with a person with a medical condition which reduces their intellect or renders them highly dependant and not able to produce (even inthe manner that people such as Steven Hawking have done so).
    Would then then be allowed to die because of this reduced productivity - or would our own social pressures (the desire to be saved if we save others; the desire for reward; the desire to comform to societies expectations) take command in our saving of the human?
     
  19. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    Yes, I trust the majority of my own species. I believe most humans are decent and only strive to achieve the same things I strive for. Thankfully I'm not so paranoid that I think everyone else is out to get me. If that were true, civilisation would never have developed, as it requires cooperation and putting aside your own self interest for the greater good.

    And I would rescue anyone regardless of their intellect or their perceived value to society. I'm not so cynical and jaded that I relate a person's value to their economic productivity.
     
  20. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    interesting that civilisation is still being viewed as a singular component when it is infact many - western, eastern, african, russian, german, english, american etc.....

    Sure there are similaritie between us all - we are the same species, but to think that all the different peoples of the world order things in the same list is a little risky - true most people are just decent average people - but that does not mean we all strive for the same basic things in life.

    Still I feel as if we are arguing at opposite polar ends to our own means - your painting a more optimistic world and me more pessemistic. Of course the real world mets somewhere between the two.
    Also its an interesting point but mant of the worlds greatest civilisations are built on the back of having avery selfish self interest (at least mostly to a national level) - Rome was not built on peace - nor was the British Empire.
    I also remember that we have the Aztecs to consider in our past as well - and remember whilst we have advanced a lot we are still the same people as those men were then. Just as we are the inquisition of Spain - the witchburners of the UK and the Voodoo men of modern Africa (and somewhere is a female tribe/group of bloodthirsty people -- just ot keep it all PC and fair you understand ;)).
    I also recall the devestation we create - ABombs and now chemical and biological weapons.