Sometimes late at night I get some strange thoughts. The following is one I pondered over last night.
Let's say you have a beloved dog that's like one of your kids. The pooch saved your life once, and it's in the prime of life. On the other side of the world is an old man who's an invalid. You've never met the man and never will. You have to choose between letting one of them live. Which would you choose? What if the man had murdered innocent people before he got old and ill? Would that make a difference in your choice? Are some human lives more valuable than others? Are human lives ALWAYS more valuable than animal lives?
Habee that is a good question and one that has been on my mind my whole life. And I guess that is the pertanent word, “life”. We know we have it and other creatures have it, but we have no idea what it is, why it is or where it came from. And as far as we know neither does the dog, or and ant or a fish or a bacteria. Yet here we all are, living, surviving and holding on for dear “life”. So, given that, how can we play god and decide to remove it from so others creatures experience, whether animal or human. I do not think human lives “matter” more than any other life. Matter to whom? To we humans, we may think, in our arrogance, that humans “count” more, but I bet the fish would disagree. What ever the life force that animates me, animates you and every other creature. I think, in some weird quantum way, the entire universe (which we also don’t have a clue as to what, where, why or how) is connected…that somehow, we are all one. I have been teased my whole life for “saving” bugs and other creatures. I do go out of my way, if I see anything in distress, to save it. I live bugs from spider webs, (piss of the spider….there goes dinner), catch bugs and put them outside, etc. I am not doing this to be cute or sweet, I just honour their aliveness, as I do my own.
I have often wondered why the “set-up” of live on this planet is so cruel…as in eat or be eaten and survival of the fittest. I guess I will not know in this life time, but I can be as kind and respectful as possible. If I had to choose between the man and the dog? Reminds me of Sophie’s Choice…Well, not that harsh…but I don’t know. Lame answer!
I do the same thing with bugs, spiders, snakes, etc - unless they're poisonous and I'm worried about my family's safety. I don't understand how so many humans lack an appreciation for other life forms. The other day, for example, my granddaughter was playing with a little frog on the school playground at recess. When she set it free, a boy gleefully stomped on the frog and killed it. Lexi was so upset!
I wrestle with stuff like this quite often. I eat meat, but I wish I didn't. Still, I think killing an animal as humanely as possible in order to provide food is different than killing something just for fun. I'll never understand how some individuals can take joy from death.
Habee I couldn't agree more. I eat meat, but hate it and often apoligise to the animal as I am cooking it. My family (all boys and men) refuse to give up meat. Farm factories are so cruel and nightmarish for those poor animals. There is a wonderful butcher shop where I live that treats thier animals very humanly and the public is even invited to tour the ranch! However, the meat is about three times as expensive as the supermarket. People who kill for "fun"..what a brutal barbaric idea of fun! In the end, I guess those of us life lovers can only do the best we can, live up to our own ideals and pray for a critical mass. I am glad your started this important discussion!
I would choose the dog. Since I would not be the one that would inititate the termination, it would be the problem of the executioner to follow through on the decision.
If I had to complete the termination however, it would still be my dog!
These strict scenario questions are always tough. I prefer Captain Kirk's philosophy of changing the scenario, re-setting the situation.
But since you say we HAVE to choose,
Since we can't change the scenario, then it makes no difference whether the man is wicked or good, what he's done or what he might do. I love my pets, and it would be very grievous to make a decision like that, but human life is always precious, because
while there is life in a human, there is always hope for salvation.
Never. I look upon all lives equally. I would choose the dog to live. No doubt.
I wouldn't ever choose something like that, but just for the conversation's sake: That would be a hard decision, if I didn't know the man at all. If he's a sweet, innocent man, I would not like to let him die, although I value animal's lives as well. But on the other hand, if the man had killed people at any point of his life, I would not care if he lived or died. Murderers, to me, have no value at all, and I would save any animal in the world over someone who has killed. That is my opinion.
Thanks for your opinion. It would be a hard call for me, although I'm relatively positive I'll never have to make such a decision. lol
Kathyrn, I understand your feelings, but feelings, but don't believe I am the one to judge people. After all, we put guns in the hands of boys and encourage them to murder and torture their fellow humans, then call them heroes instead of murderers because some government deems it legal.Don't get me wrong, I am horrified by rape, murder etc, but and eye for an eye leaves us all blind.
I am reluctant to point this out, but technically we make similar decisions constantly. My reluctance stems from falling short of the bar I am about to propose, myself. Calling for others to achieve this standard would be hypocritical if I myself don't, and I don't. Nevertheless, it seems appropriate in the context of this forum to raise a valid point. It takes very little money for well run charities to feed people in need and improve their lives. Any money we spend on pets, luxuries, hobbies, etc., for our own gratification instead of helping those folks does, in effect, make and illustrate a choice. Will I, or do I propose you, cut all of that out and send every possible dime to help others? Admittedly, no...but it doesn't hurt to keep the perspective and perhaps up our efforts in that regard.
Another sobering thought is, when making the choice is it really out of compassion for the dog, vs the person, or is it a more selfish choice regarding the very tangible personal benefit of having the beloved pet in our lives, vs the relatively intangible personal benefit of feeling good about helping a stranger we will never meet?
The man murdered innocent people and he's old and ill versus a great dog? That's an easy choice, I would choose the dog. I know I am probably going to offend someone by saying that, but it's true. Just because one is a human being (a despicable one at that) doesn't mean they have more value. There are definitely exceptions to humans being more valued than animals.
Let's say my apartment complex was burning down and inside was my dog, I would rush in to try and save my beloved pet and risk my own life if I could. So I would be risking my own life for that of my dog, which might seem strange to some people..
Oh, I'd do the exact same thing to save my dogs!
I would have to agree with AKatsMeow. If the man murdered innocent people, so sad too bad for him. I too would run into a burning building to save my dogs. Unfortunately, to me, dogs I have trusted more than people throughout my life.
On the other hand, I've been to a war zone such as many others before and after me have and have 'done my job', does that make me a murderer for doing what I am supposed to do? Believe me, that weighs on my mind.
When I think "murderer," I think of someone who willfully kills innocent victims.
As for the trustworthiness of canines, I agree with you. Most dogs are better people than many humans are. lol
Thanks Habee! I brought in a dog trainer to my house when i was married (a long time ago) because my dog kept peeing in my husbands shoes. lmao. It was a hate/hate relationship. Anyway the trainer said 'get rid of the man' which I promptly did because he was an ass anyway. Ever since I've always trusted my dogs more than people.
I would do anything to save my pets but if I had to make the choice. I would save the man I wouldn't want to but it would be the human thing to do. It's not up to me to decide what to do with this murdering human. I can not be a killer like him. We make the decisions all our lives when it's time for our pets to be put to sleep. Human lives are always more valuable
This is very difficult dilemma, I read this the other day http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news … e-science/
In reality though there is always room for both.
Holy cow, I thought this was going to be a fun thread... ok... so I would always put ppl over animals no matter how much the animal is beloved. So my first answer is, let the poor old man live. But then you tell me he has murdered other ppl! Oh dear... so now my reaction is that his life is worth less than the dog's. BUT then I think... 'Hey Beth, what if he met some kindly missionary who taught him right from wrong? What if he has learned that he must seek God's forgiveness and he has spent the last year of his life paying recompense to the families of those he has wronged? What if he is now reconciled with his own family and he is teaching his grandchildren not to follow down his path, but to walk the path of a righteous man? And what if this lesson were taken to heart by one of his grandchildren who followed God because of his grandfather's lessons, then started an orphanage that cared for hundreds, even thousands of children from the time it was established?'
Now I find myself leaning toward the choice of the old man over the dog again... But I don't know any of this stuff, the past the present or the future... I'm glad God does.
I'd take the dog over a sociopathic murderer any day. Sociopaths are people who cannot feel empathy and so they cause a lot of emotional devastation wherever they go and there's no therapies to help them.... so if one of them becomes a serial killer then by all means I'm taking the dog home and feeling confident in my choice.
On the other hand a sweet old invalid? Having had health issues for much of my life I would have to ask the man if he wanted to keep living in such a condition and go from there...
If the pooched saved your life, in my opinion, you owe to the pouch to save its life.
by alexalbert123 8 years ago
Do yourself a favor, rescue a domesticated animal, leave the wild ones to nature.
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by Holle Abee 6 years ago
I sometimes worry about this with myself. I think in my case, I see it as much easier to "save" an animal than it is to save a human. For instance, when I find a starving/abused animal, I can take it home, feed it, and give it a good home. That's not so easy to do with fellow humans. You...
by Richard VanIngram 9 years ago
One often reads about "human nature" or claims about humans having a nature. For example: it is often said that people are, by nature, greedy or violent or what have you.Further, serious ethical claims are traditionally made in the name of human nature by claiming some actions...
by keepitnatural 8 years ago
Do you consider the 'life' of an animal to be equivalent to that of a human's? If not then why not..is it because they can't speak, because they still feel pain & suffering just as we do?
by Mahaveer Sanglikar 7 years ago
Just a curiosity. Do animal lovers love human beings?
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