Would you save the dog or the human?

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

  1. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Really it depends on the conviction and the adrenaline of the moment as to whether I save either of them. From a cool standpoint the only thing to enter my head is that they are both gator bait and as good as dead as am I if I go in after them. But both adrenaline and faith do crazy things. If I do happen to get in I'm saving the human if I absolutely cannot bring both of them to the surface and support them. After all, I'm a bit of a butterball and float fairly well in addition to having fairly strong legs.
     
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    That is almost as disturbing as someone saying they would save the person so long as they weren't gay.

    I would let a gay person drown, and jump in and save the dog... unless the dog was gay, then I'd let them both drown. Does that sound ridiculous? Anyone who thinks a puppy dog is worth more than an old man has left their humanity somewhere along the side of the road.
     
  3. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    The old man has already lived his life, a puppy has it's whole life ahead of it. And also WHY are they drowning? I'm not a good swimmer. I probably wouldn't be much help to either of them. And also, if the currents were so bad that they couldn't get out, then why would I go into the water to begin with. I'd probably call a life guard.

    Also I don't see how your comparison to gay people and gay dogs has anything to do with my response at all. I know your trying to draw some sort of parallel. But no matter how much I read it I just can't see it.
     
  4. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Here is a better challenge. Now that you saved the puppy instead of the old man, what do you say to the family of the old man that you let drown? And the question assumes that you can save them even regardless. Really the question of the debate is what is more valuable? Human life, or other animal life. I'd say on a small non-ecosystem obliterating scale the human myself. But if we destroy everything around us then we won't be able to survive anyway and that would be counteractive to preserving our species.
     
  5. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Always save the human.Always.
     
  6. Padmé

    Padmé Mrs Cascador

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    Yeah I would always save the person above any animal. You cannot compare the life of a dog (especially not a cat :p) to a human. Even if it was someone I hated, I would save them. I think that's being human surely? And I would seriously question anyone who would behave otherwise.
     
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    That's how I feel.
    Even an old man who perhaps only has a few years left to live and is alone in the world is worth saving over an animal.

    Both a man and his dog will be terrified at the prospect of drowning, but only the man will feel dread and a longing to live.
     
  8. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    What you said.It's the whole point.
     
  9. Padmé

    Padmé Mrs Cascador

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    And I'd like to clarify that I don't dislike animals. My dad hates animals of all kind and would agree with me only because he sees animals (pets I mean) as pointless. But I am completely the opposite, love animals, loved having pets. Had rabbits, budgies, fish (more decorative but still a pet lol), gerbils, cats etc Loved all of my pets when I was growing up, spoilt them rotten...... BUT I would never have put their lives ahead of a human being. It simply does not compute with me.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Hmm to be human is to count humanity, in all its forms, above all other life no matter the association of that other life with the individual human?


    Somehow that sounds rather, cold. I mean surely if you've a pet or work animal that has devoted its life to emotional/physical support of yourself surely that must count for something in the long run? Or is the keeping of pets etc.... to be purely seen as a selfish endeavour and that the animal has no redemption possible in the eyes of the human save to be used and disregarded at a moments notice for the plight of a stranger?
     
  11. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Again you're right!Counting an animal more than a human is a mistake and that doesn't mean that someone hates animals.
     
  12. Padmé

    Padmé Mrs Cascador

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    Like I said, you cannot compare a human life with that of an animal. And I am trying to remove the selfish act of my feelings towards my pet, in this scenario. Are you telling me that if someone came to you and said that your father died while someone saved a dog instead that you would not be shocked and in fact furious? What I am saying is not cold at all. It is putting it in the correct perspective. Of course, if it was my choice neither the animal or human would die, but if there was this unusual moment where it was in my power to save an animal or a human, then of course it is the person I will save. Surely it is cold and heartless to say otherwise? And in truth, I think if the moment came to us, most if not all would instinctively save the human. You have to realize also that as humans, we have an understanding over our own destinies aka that we will all die. Studies on even our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, chimps, have shown that they understand that everyone around them will die, but they do not understand they will die. It literally does not make sense to them and it is beyond their range of thought. It does not mean they do not get afraid when danger is around them, this is in all animal nature, but they do not understand they are doomed just as much as everyone around them. Humans DO understand this, and this is where a great deal of our anxieties come from, it is in everything we do, from art, to religion and beyond. Our understanding that we are all fragile and on this plain of existence but once is something that is embedded in our collective memory. So, in a moment of peril, who is suffering most? The person. They will KNOW they are going to die. An animal cannot comprehend death like we can. They cannot understand the entire world the way we do, which is why you cannot compare a human life with an animal.

    Again, this does not mean that I dislike animals. I am completely against animal cruelty, testing, you name it. But in this instance, saving a person or an animal..... It is the person that will be saved.
     
  13. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    To be fair if you said that a stranger was saved over my father I'd likely go through a similar emotional reaction at the news. The loss of one we are emotionally attached to will always greatly outweigh that of someone who is a total stranger.

    Instinctively we associate first with humans - then mammals - then birds - then reptiles and fish - then you get things like shellfish/clams and then somewhere near the bottom bacteria.
    Some get to shift around based on education and direct experiences (for example those who keep pet reptiles might well rank them alongside or above birds or even mammals).



    Eh I think areas where we attempt to understand the psychology of other animals is an area of science where I think which is still very much in its infancy. It's also an area very open to being misinterpreted by upbringing of the people conducting the study mostly because its not a "hard facts" area of science like mixing chemicals is.
    I mean heck up until a few years ago the concept of animals being able to pre-plan and prepare for an event that wasn't based in "instinct" was considered to be a grey area/area where humans were again unique. Areas such as psychological stress in animals was also mostly not considered very real (and yet talk to any parrot owner now and stress is certainly something any keen and learned person who keeps parrots would be more than well aware of).

    I think humanity liked to think that we are/were greatly more unique as a species than we otherwise find that we are. Whilst we are certainly quite different in many ways I think that we've also a lot more similarities than we like to admit to.
     
  14. Padmé

    Padmé Mrs Cascador

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    Oh I agree with you on that. Many people like to disassociate us from animals entirely, when we're not, we're brilliant apes and not disconnected from nature at all. However, I don't see how any of this can allow a person to think it is acceptable to save an animal over a human. Now in saying that, after saving the person, would I go back to save the animal if I could? Without a doubt. Of course I would, but in a moment of life and death you have to put your priorities in the right place. I don't think I could cope if I saved a dog over the life of a man or woman, whether they had families or not, it doesn't matter. Would I be upset over the loss of the dog if I saved the person? Again, yes of course I would, but it is only natural that it would be diminished in comparison to the loss of a human life. We can imagine ourselves in the place of the person in peril. Imagine you were struggling for your life, drowning, shouting please god someone help me, please. Trying desperately to cling onto life, then seeing someone jump into the water, praying they reach you on time, but they swim towards the dog instead of you. It just sounds weird, and inhuman almost. I have no problem with someone saving an animal, and in fact I always smile when I heard such stories of people doing such things, because it is the right thing to do. But in THIS scenario, a person will die, or an animal, I don't understand how someone can place an animals life above a person's.
     
  15. Anrisa Ryn

    Anrisa Ryn Author, artist, gamer

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    The human for sure. While it will be a tragedy to let the dog drown, humans are far more functional in society.
    That is unless you're really unlucky and the human is an idiot while the dog is a genius. lool
     
  16. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    This is not whether we are more valuable than any other animals. But instinctively I would also save the human first above the dog. It just seems like the right thing to do. I don't know why. It just feels that way. If I saw a dog and a human drowning. I would hesitate, but I would still first choose to save the human while attempting to save the dog too if it was in my power. But if I really had to choose, despite how cruel it may sound to the dog, I would go for the human. And as Padmé said, I would mourn the loss of the dog. I would feel utterly defeated that I could not save the human AND the dog. Maybe I would even question myself if I did the right thing, but in the end it is the right thing. It's just that at that moment that you would be in doubt whether it is, because when you're in a situation when you have to choose everything changes. But I can pretty much confidently say that I would choose a human life above a dog's, despite the human's age even. Maybe it's because I think a dog has more chance of survival compared to an old helpless man. I don't know. Maybe you would illusion that somehow the dog will make it, so you choose the human instead. When I would see a human or a dog drowning it's not even a factor of who would live the longest if they survived, who is suffering the most. It's all about instinct. And like I said instinctively I would choose to save the human.
     
  17. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Often people fail to consider if the dog is a doctor that could save lives or if the dog is an axe-murderer that would better be left for dead. But it drives me nuts when people seriously apply that argument. Most often it is assuming the worst out of people too, that rebellious anti-society mentality that conflicts directly with the meaning I seek in my own life.

    Also if you save the human the human is more likely to save another thing given the chance and their better understanding of their perceived reality. There is a greater likelihood a human being will go on to do greater things for the whole world even than a single dog. As important as emotions are, they are still our more animal less logical side and shouldn't be the priority in making the decision.
     
  18. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    See I think that's the difference here. I don't see humans life as being more valuable than animal life. I see as us pretty equal. It's not a popular opinion and people will probably not like me for it but whatever, it's just how I feel. I don't see myself as being so smart or so special or so advanced that I'm better than all the other living things on this planet. To me that is selfish. I'm not better, I'm just a human.

    And again, this situation depends on SO many factors. What if the man was a terrorist. What if he was a known pedophile and rapist, would you still have him over the dog? And in the same situation, if it was a dog who was aggressive and attacked children rather than being a friendly peaceful dog then the tides also change again.
     
  19. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I just think humans have more potential and our better understanding of the universe makes us more valuable. Also your examples of factors are two faced, ultimately it depends on if you have faith in your own species or not. I'd like to assume the best just for the sake of the future.
     
  20. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    Humans also have more potential to do the most damage on this planet. Animals don't start wars, creature nuclear weapons, bombs, pollution. That's all us. Are we really more valuable on this planet? Do we really have more potential to do good when we are basically destroying the entire planet we live on, despite the fact that we share it with millions of other species who have no say in the matter?

    So yeah, I guess I don't have that much faith in humans. I like people, I like individual people and lots of them. I have faith in people but not in humanity as one whole species.