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  • Why should humans come first?

    i saw that on another thread and it made me think...

    why *shouldn't* humans come first...ya know...for humans?
    isn't that the way of things?

  • #2
    Originally posted by *oonagh* View Post
    i saw that on another thread and it made me think...

    why *shouldn't* humans come first...ya know...for humans?
    isn't that the way of things?
    As in, humans not evolving from other species?

    Blasphemy.

    I'll tell you the reason why they weren't 'first'; Because we know there was stuff out there before us. There were no humans before that stuff.

    And as an answer for the "shouldn't"; We'd die.

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    • #3
      In a situation where there was myself , my cat , and
      a human I did not particularly care for...

      And there was only the opportunity to save two beings...

      Myself , and my cat...

      ( even though some say it has 9 lives )...:smileroll

      Other human ?

      Sooo Sorry...NOT...:bigredgri

      Originally posted by *oonagh* View Post
      i saw that on another thread and it made me think...

      why *shouldn't* humans come first...ya know...for humans?
      isn't that the way of things?

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the OP was referring to morality, not evolutionary theory.

        I generally agree - humans come first. Anything else is, biologically speaking, bizarre. Now, we could argue about what 'coming first' means and whether or not certain actions benefit humans or not, especially when it comes to environmental debates. But humans should be the primary concern there regardless of how you interpret the costs and benefits. Anything else smacks of misanthropy (or, as often seems to be the case, teenage angst that just never went away).
        JFGI

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        • #5
          well, yeah, the continuation of the species. don't all things (animals, plants, etc.) put themselves (their survival) first?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by *oonagh* View Post
            well, yeah, the continuation of the species. don't all things (animals, plants, etc.) put themselves (their survival) first?
            Yes, but I believe that, as the more sentient beings on this planet, we also have a responsibility to preserve our environment and the other living beings that live in it. That said, though, we should do so knowing that it is ultimately in our own best interests as well as those of non-humans, since we're all connected and really do depend on the natural resources the earth gives us to survive. Of course, we should also preserve ourselves by eliminating that which would threaten our existence, like many diseases out there.
            All in all, I'd say we pretty much put ourselves first in general as it is. The problem is just that we sometimes tend to completely disregard the rest of nature as vital to our existence.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PaganSpirit View Post
              Yes, but I believe that, as the more sentient beings on this planet, we also have a responsibility to preserve our environment and the other living beings that live in it. That said, though, we should do so knowing that it is ultimately in our own best interests as well as those of non-humans, since we're all connected and really do depend on the natural resources the earth gives us to survive. Of course, we should also preserve ourselves by eliminating that which would threaten our existence, like many diseases out there.
              All in all, I'd say we pretty much put ourselves first in general as it is. The problem is just that we sometimes tend to completely disregard the rest of nature as vital to our existence.
              see? of course humans put humans first and in doing we should realize that it's in our own best interests to be smart with our resources. really, being extremely selfish is probably best.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PaganSpirit View Post
                Yes, but I believe that, as the more sentient beings on this planet, we also have a responsibility to preserve our environment and the other living beings that live in it.
                Human vanity. What prrof do you have that we are the most sentient? Sure we build the most and have the most toys, but is that a proof of sentience? Not really.

                Sentience is merely the ability to feel or perceive subjectively. Only in science fiction is this term used as a synonym for personhood. The reality is that all animals feel or perceive subjectively and all our toys are not proof that we do it any deeper or any better than anything else.

                I wouldn't even concede that we are the most sapient creatures on the planet given the multiple examples inherent in our species where we might have intelligence without wisdom or vice versa.

                I will grant the we might have the largest egos of any form of life on the planet but only until we are able to translate the speech of other creatures. It may turn out that cockroaches or dung beetles have even larger egos than ours.


                As for the whole humans coming first thing, Shawn made a cute example, but lets twist it a bit and leave out the other person from the equation and see which one gets chosen? Do you save yourself or the cat? Of course you save yourself, because odds are the cat is capable of following you as you flee and if it isn't the odds are you cannoy save the cat alone so you might as well use the energy for yourself.
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                I have the right to be spit and vinegar.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Terra Mater View Post
                  Human vanity. What prrof do you have that we are the most sentient? Sure we build the most and have the most toys, but is that a proof of sentience? Not really.

                  Sentience is merely the ability to feel or perceive subjectively. Only in science fiction is this term used as a synonym for personhood. The reality is that all animals feel or perceive subjectively and all our toys are not proof that we do it any deeper or any better than anything else.

                  I wouldn't even concede that we are the most sapient creatures on the planet given the multiple examples inherent in our species where we might have intelligence without wisdom or vice versa.

                  I will grant the we might have the largest egos of any form of life on the planet but only until we are able to translate the speech of other creatures. It may turn out that cockroaches or dung beetles have even larger egos than ours.


                  As for the whole humans coming first thing, Shawn made a cute example, but lets twist it a bit and leave out the other person from the equation and see which one gets chosen? Do you save yourself or the cat? Of course you save yourself, because odds are the cat is capable of following you as you flee and if it isn't the odds are you cannoy save the cat alone so you might as well use the energy for yourself.
                  Interesting point. You're right, technically, it is completely possible that other animals may be as sentient or even more so than humans, but as far as we know, humans alone have the highest capacity to reason and the highest awareness of their own being and ego and all that. Until we can prove otherwise. Since we haven't, though, and since we do have a high capacity to reason, I think it's still valid enough to say that we have a certain responsibility to the environment, for our own survival as well as for others.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by *oonagh* View Post
                    well, yeah, the continuation of the species. don't all things (animals, plants, etc.) put themselves (their survival) first?
                    Yes and no - to ensure their survival animals will protect other animals they depend on; some species of ants will devote virtually their entire colony to defending and maintaining the well being of the mosses the farm and arthropods they herd.

                    It's all part of symbiosis.

                    Humans are sophisticate to recognize the extend nature of our symbiosis (directly or by proxy) with most every other organism on our planet. To come first, sometimes you have to put someone else ahead of you.

                    Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tiberias View Post
                      i think the op was referring to morality, not evolutionary theory.

                      I generally agree - humans come first. Anything else is, biologically speaking, bizarre. Now, we could argue about what 'coming first' means and whether or not certain actions benefit humans or not, especially when it comes to environmental debates. But humans should be the primary concern there regardless of how you interpret the costs and benefits. Anything else smacks of misanthropy (or, as often seems to be the case, teenage angst that just never went away).
                      qft
                      Per Mare, Per Terras!!!

                      Feel Free to PM me with your request

                      *sigh* I finally did it... thar be my dragons, pwease qwick them... I don't want to go to jail for neglect... what'd a dragon ever do to you??

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Infinite Grey View Post
                        Yes and no - to ensure their survival animals will protect other animals they depend on; some species of ants will devote virtually their entire colony to defending and maintaining the well being of the mosses the farm and arthropods they herd.

                        It's all part of symbiosis.

                        Humans are sophisticate to recognize the extend nature of our symbiosis (directly or by proxy) with most every other organism on our planet. To come first, sometimes you have to put someone else ahead of you.
                        shit... here's another QFT
                        Per Mare, Per Terras!!!

                        Feel Free to PM me with your request

                        *sigh* I finally did it... thar be my dragons, pwease qwick them... I don't want to go to jail for neglect... what'd a dragon ever do to you??

                        Your friendly solitary non-traditional eclectic.




                        "Follow me into the depths of insanity, leave beliefs and apprehensions at the door"- quoth the ocelot

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                        • #13
                          Being me , I would do all I could to save myself , and the cat ,
                          even if we both perished in the process...I am not attached
                          to life , or death...

                          Originally posted by Terra Mater View Post
                          As for the whole humans coming first thing, Shawn made a cute example, but lets twist it a bit and leave out the other person from the equation and see which one gets chosen? Do you save yourself or the cat? Of course you save yourself, because odds are the cat is capable of following you as you flee and if it isn't the odds are you cannoy save the cat alone so you might as well use the energy for yourself.

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                          • #14
                            I believe it's in all individuals' nature to put themselves first. Most animals (including humans) put their own species first because it serves their own purpose better to have others to mate and hunt with. However, when it comes to who is close to someone, as in the example given with the cat and unknown human, it might be most beneficial to save the cat, because he/she is closest to us, and otherwise we would experience negative emotions of loss afterwards. If we knew that the legal/societal system would have us punished if we made that choice, though, we might prefer to save the human instead. Furthermore, in a successful society, we have morals, so we might have wanted to save the human anyway, for that reason, as cats are not part of the society. I think most people actually live in successful societies.

                            Indeed some species put other species first sometimes for the sake of symbiosis, but this too is ultimately of self-interest. I agree that we should conserve plants and wildlife for example, but that is because I selfishly enjoy a biological diversity. Morals in a society are selfish too in their essence; we wouldn't have been moral to other people if we knew this wouldn't have had any effect of the improvement/maintenance of the society, i.e. us.
                            Last edited by Nilurra; May 26th, 2010, 02:21 PM.
                            Here at the edge of this world
                            Here I gaze at a pantheon of oak, a citadel of stone
                            If this grand panorama before me is what you call God...
                            Then God is not dead
                            -Agalloch, In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion

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                            • #15
                              The OP may be interested in the contemporary philosopher Peter Singer and his belief that the more sentient a creature is (sentience defined as the degree to which an animal can have interests) the more we should do to relieve its suffering. So I am more important than a cow, which is more important than a coma patient (unless the coma patient's death caused more trauma to their family than the death of a single cow would cause itself, I suppose).

                              Whether you agree with it or not, it's an interesting marker to go off.
                              L'universe est le corps et l'esprit de mon dieu. Tout le monde sont ma famille; m'sit no komaq.


                              Grateful to the Gods who have patiently carried me along.

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